Country Music, Cowboy Boots and Corn Convene Together

February 22, 2022

Country Music, Cowboy Boots and Corn Convene Together

Feb 22, 2022

Author: Stacey Stiens

Last week, an all-American trio came together in Nashville to paint the town with dynamic and collaborative Beltway brushstrokes: country music, cowboy boots and corn. Representatives from both national and state corn grower associations were in attendance for the tandem events held by Farm Journal—the Top Producer Summit and the Trust In Food Symposium.


At the Top Producer Summit’s “Business on Broadway,” NCGA showcased the value of associations and partnerships, targeting to connect with interested producers who are not yet engaging with their state and/or national corn association. As part of the program available to attendees, NCGA Vice Presidents Brooke Appleton and Jim Bauman virtually hosted two different sponsored sessions--“How Washington Affects Your Bottom Line - A Legislative and Regulatory Update” and “Driving Corn Demand through Ethanol Infrastructure and Regulatory Avenues” which was moderated by Board Chairman John Linder. Both sessions were well attended and provided an opportunity for conference participants to engage with panelists and ask questions about NCGA’s scope of work and priorities. Wednesday night, Top Producer attendees were welcomed to NCGA’s Corn Social reception to further encourage networking and collaboration across the sector.


In a “Climate-Smart State of Mind” over at the Trust In Food Symposium, Rachel Orf served as a panelist alongside Michelle Rossman (Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy), Ashley McDonald (National Pork Board), and Kira Everhart-Valentin (United Sorghum Checkoff Program).  This “Mainstreaming Climate-Smart Ag Throughout Our Industries” session allowed each to share their commodity’s strategies and tactics to dynamically engage stakeholders across the sector while ensuring continued collaboration in order to achieve set sustainability goals. Wednesday’s symposium programming also included a “Human Dimensions of Change” working session where both national and state corn staff could share perspectives, roadblocks and insights in overcoming barriers to conservation practice adoption.


“My time in NCGA office started during the pandemic, and it has been one of my goals to do anything and everything in my power to help this industry get righted again.  Getting out to in-person events like these—Top Producers and Trust In Food Symposium—also gets us back to having those big conversations with one another,” said Chairman Linder.  “It’s important as chairman and as a corn grower to be out here and telling our stories to others. The great story for me is that our team is really working hard to provide on our mission of increasing opportunities for our growers.”