(Posted Tue. Jun 25th, 2013)
This article and podcast are the sixth in a series profiling candidates for the 2014 Corn Board.
June 25: Already an experienced leader at both the state and national level, Paul Taylor brings a dedicated approach and well-honed skillset to a leadership position. Already a veteran leader having led state corn and soy associations, he now hopes to serve his fellow farmers across the country as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.
Taylor is running for election to the Corn Board because he has gained a passion for serving his neighbors and NCGA’s broader membership that was fostered by his prior service and attendance of NCGA events including Corn Congress and Commodity Classic. While participating in the Leadership at Its Best program and the Advanced Leadership program, he developed a deep respect for the level of professionalism exhibited by NCGA spokespersons and of the level of respect afforded them in both commodity and political circles. Thus, he strongly desires to contribute his skills and experience developed over a lifetime of agricultural organization involvement to help further advance the organization’s success.
“I think that one of most important aspects of leadership is participation,” said Taylor. “I had heard someone at some point say that the world is pretty much run by people who show up. I think that the lesson from that is if a person is willing to get involved, roll up their sleeves, sit at the table – there’s lots of trite phrases – but the reality is that you just have to make the commitment to literally show up and do the job. Now, skillset, of course is necessary for effective leadership too. Finally, I think that at some level you have to be able to balance what is important for yourself, what is important for our nation’s farmers and what is politically feasible.”
As a Corn Board candidate, Taylor hopes to bring his experience in relationship building and the perspective he has gained through leadership outside of traditional agricultural circles to the association. As a Corn Board member, he would serve the industry as a team player with innovative and critical thinking in a manner that is both consistent and professional.
“NCGA board members should continue the association’s tradition of acting as a federation of state corn grower organizations. They should strive to initiate strong leadership in the issues facing corn farmers either through surfacing and developing those ideas, actions and relationships through the action teams and leadership networks or supporting state initiatives as they are advanced.”
Taylor continues a farming tradition on land which has been in his family for nearly 100 years in northern Illinois. There, he raises corn, seed corn, food grade non-GMO soybeans and canning vegetables for Del Monte including sweet corn, lima beans and green peas. While he no longer raises livestock personally, he continues to value that component of our agricultural system.
Currently, Taylor serves NCGA as vice chair on its Ethanol Committee. He also served as president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. Previously, he served as president of the Wisconsin Soybean Association.
To listen to the full interview with Taylor, click here.
The NCGA Corn Board election takes place at the July 17 Corn Congress session in Washington.