The National Corn Growers Association entered a new fiscal year on Saturday and seated the 2017 Corn Board with Wesley Spurlock of Stratford, Texas, who assumed the presidency. Off the Cob spoke with the new president to explore his views on what lies ahead for corn farmers in 2017 and his goals for his term.
“This year is much like the one we just finished,” he said. “We are looking at a massive corn crop. It is still being harvested but, even with some rain problems in the Midwest, the yields may be there. So, growing demand remains awfully important to finding a use for the crop that we have.”
To listen to the full interview, please click here.
Looking at how NCGA will meet this challenge, he notes the importance of the new action team structure that aligns team goals with the strategic plan.
“Our new action teams work well with our strategic plan,” said Spurlock. “We have three new teams focused on demand: the Ethanol Action Team; the Feed, Food and Industrial Action Team; and the Market Access Action Team. These groups on the demand side will all be working hard to find out where we are and where we need to be.
“We have to work every side of this. We need trade. We need to work for the Trans Pacific Partnership. We need to work with our partners in the livestock industry. We need to work with the ethanol industry to keep that market open. And, we need to keep government regulations from becoming more cumbersome.”
Spurlock stressed the incredibly important role members play in ensuring success.
“Our grassroots are an essential part of our organization. We have to hear from the bottom all the way up. Members can start in their state associations and speak to them. The states can bring that to the national organization.
“We need the grassroots to go straight to their Representatives and Senators. They have to be active on the political side and the regulatory side. When we ask, it is because we do really need all of our members to come out and voice their opinions so that we can all keep the freedom to farm.”
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.
The Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) is a biennial event happening this June. Learn more.