(Posted Tue. Oct 4th, 2011)

Pam JohnsonOct. 4: On October 1, the National Corn Growers Association sat its fiscal year 2012 Corn Board and, at that time, Floyd, Iowa, farmer Pam Johnson became the organization’s first vice president. To find out more about Johnson’s views, Off the Cob sat down with her to discuss where she sees the industry heading and her overall priorities for the board over the coming year.


Johnson noted that it is of the utmost importance that growers have strong advocates in leadership roles right now as they face the drafting of a new farm bill during a time when budgets are being slashed in an effort to reduce the national debt. She said that, through the work of NCGA’s dedicated grower leaders, corn farmers across the nation will receive strong representation in these debates.


“I feel like we are ahead of the game as our Public Policy Action Team has been working on programs and concepts for a while now,” said Johnson. “They have thoroughly vetted these ideas and performed detailed economic analysis of them. Thus, NCGA will be able to not only present our ideas but also credibly defend them. It is incredibly important that, considering the budgetary environment, we can come up with a plausible, fact-based plan to protect corn growers when they really need it the most.”


With a reminder that growers continually rank crop insurance one of their highest priorities, she reassures them that the Corn Board grasps the importance of strong risk management tools.


“This year really showed the necessity of risk management tools to help farmers facing losses due to weather,” she said. “Looking at 2011, we had major weather issues clear across the country and market volatility. We are fully engaged in helping develop and protect the tools that help carry our farmers through these difficulties.”


Finally, she reflects on the idea that the true strength of NCGA stems from the desire of farmers across the country to play an active role in developing the policies that will affect their operations.


“It is great to have grassroots members who really want to be engaged,” said Johnson. “When I am at home talking to other farmers, I hear so often how they want to know about the issues NCGA deals with and really be connected. They want to have input into NCGA’s activities and also to take action by responding to what they hear and see in the media with their true story as modern American farmers.”


To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.