(Posted Fri. Oct 3rd, 2014)
When the National Corn Growers Association entered a new fiscal year Wednesday, Illinois farmer Rob Elliott assumed the role of first vice president. Off the Cob spoke with the new officer to explore the issues he sees as needing the most immediate attention and his long-term goals for his term.
Elliott noted that the changes to the Corn Board leadership are not the only which NCGA will undergo this month. Praising CEO Rick Tolman for his distinguished record and impact during his tenure, he is confident and optimistic looking ahead also.
“Certainly, we have many upcoming changes in leadership,” he said. “Many thanks to Rick Tolman for his 14 years of leadership. He has grown the membership, reputation and significance of the organization. He has done a lot of positive things for corn farmers.
“When Chris Novak begins as the new CEO this October, I think that we will usher in a new era for NCGA. I look forward to where we take this thing in the next few years.”
Looking at the issues facing farmers, Elliott pointed out the need to continue actively pursuing alliances that help combat misinformation promulgated by outside interests.
“There are loud, extreme elements out there that, while they continually talk about us, don’t speak positively. Image and activism programs to combat the misinformation have become really important. Our affiliation with groups such as the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance and others that paint farmers in a positive light will be a priority in dealing with these issues.
“Corn farmers have had a run of about a half-dozen really good years in terms of profitability due to corn prices, growth in demand and the like. The challenge will be getting demand back in balance so that we can return to a better level of profitability. We have proven our ability to produce and of the U.S. corn farmer to rise to the occasion. Now, we need to get demand back up.”
To listen to the full interview, please click here.