(Posted Thu. Sep 27th, 2012)

Sept. 27: As fiscal year 2012 comes to a close, Off the Cob takes time to look ahead with the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board members moving into new leadership roles on October 1. Examining their views on membership, leadership and insight into the issues that will affect corn farmers over the year to come; these interviews provide a glimpse into the leadership which will guide NCGA during 2013.


Elected by the Corn Board to serve as First Vice President in 2013 and ratified by the full Corn Congress to the role in July, Martin Barbre, a farmer from Carmi, Ill., has been extensively involved in NCGA leadership for years now. Already keenly aware of the challenges corn farmers will face in 2013, Barbre looks forward to the hard work needed to move the industry forward.


“There are a lot of things going on right now that will carry over into next year,” Barbre explained. “We are going to have to defend the Renewable Fuel Standard in order to keep it in tact. Our board has been very involved in this issue and works to stay at the forefront, taking a leadership role and moving efforts forward. We will also continue our efforts to get a farm bill to the House floor. So far, it has proven challenging with House leadership refusing to let the bill hit the floor. We are hoping to make that happen yet, possibly in the lame duck session. ”


Despite the challenging nature of the times, Barbre sees his fellow leaders as not only ready but eager to push forward, making headway in the fight for the future of America’s farmers. He notes that a variety of NCGA programs have helped grow leaderships’ skillset and prepared them for the work to come.


“As an organization, NCGA has done a tremendous job of developing leadership from all of our member states and at the national level,” he explained. “All of the state corn organizations are invited every year to send people to the Leadership at Its Best academy, which Syngenta co-sponsors. Now, we have added the Advanced Leadership program that helps association leaders advance their skillset to that next level. It is exciting to be part of these programs.”


Barbre noted that he is also excited to serve as a Corn Board officer with fiscal year 2013 NCGA President Pam Johnson and Chairman Garry Niemeyer and to working with leadership from all of the state corn organizations.


For the full interview, click here.


In the following days, Off the Cob will offer more interviews and insight from NCGA grower-leaders as they prepare for 2013.