(Posted Tue. Jun 28th, 2016)
This article and podcast are the second in a series profiling candidates for the 2017 Corn Board.
Jim Reed places a high value on the important role grassroots’ input plays in shaping every part of the National Corn Growers Association. With a keen awareness of the importance of valuing corn farmer input, he hopes to continue serving his peers as a member of the NCGA Corn Board.
Reed believes that a Corn Board member should strive to facilitate communications between NCGA, the grassroots membership and the key decision makers who have an impact on agriculture. To do this effectively, he stays up-to-date on the wide array of issues confronting agriculture, investing the time necessary to investigate the issues fully before making policy decisions. As a member of the board, he strives to provide fair and balanced leadership that values every member’s input.
“Perhaps the greatest value of leadership is the ability to make a decision based on the information which you have been given,” he said. “You have to be able to step forward and say which direction the association needs to head. In doing so, you have to represent the views and opinions of those who aren’t at the table and reflect the grassroots input necessary for any organization to build the consensus necessary to move forward.”
Reed sees NCGA as representing corn farmers well in every aspect of the industry despite the huge task of playing an active role in policy, research, conservation, ethanol and public image. He believes that the ability to be effective in such a diversity of arenas stems from its ability to draw ideas from the grassroots and put them into action. As a board member, he works to find new ways to motivate membership to engage on the issues most important to the industry and develop the information needed to address the challenges that lie ahead.
“I want the delegates to know that I am always available and always accessible,” Reed explained. “I truly enjoy talking to my fellow farmers. I have met so many of the delegates and appreciate how richly they are involved back home, much as I am. Hearing the stories of what they do and how they struggle to deal with the financial conditions today and to comply with the regulatory conditions, I understand that their concerns are real and the impact to their business is personal.
“I want to hear from all of our members; their input is what makes NCGA a great organization.”
Reed operates a 1,200-acre family farm growing corn and soybeans in addition to performing custom farming operations for some neighbors. The proud owner of a Centennial farm, he is the fifth generation of his family to farm in the community.
In addition to serving on the Corn Board, he previously chaired NCGA’s CornPAC and Public Policy Action Team. At the state level, he is a past president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association and former chair of the ICGA Industrial Committee. Reed is a graduate of both Leadership At Its Best and the Advanced Leadership program.
To listen to the full interview with Reed, click here.
The NCGA Corn Board election takes place during Corn Congress on July 20 in Washington.