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2021 Iowa Corn Director Elections

The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is comprised of 12 peer-elected farmers and two industry liaisons that serve as the collective voice for 8,000 corn farmer members, lobbying on agricultural issues at the state and federal level. Elections are held each year to select leadership and representatives from each of the nine crop reporting districts in the state.

The Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) is comprised of 12 peer-elected farmers and four ex officios who invest funds collected through the Iowa corn checkoff program, with a focus on market development, education and research. Elections are held each year to select leadership and representatives from each of the nine crop reporting districts in the state. Below is election information for 2020, each candidates bio will be added soon.

 

IOwa Corn Growers Association: Crop Reporting Districts 2, 5, and 7

Those elected as ICGA Directors will continue to bring grassroots policy issues forward and be the collective voice for the nearly 8,000 corn farmer-members, lobbying on agricultural issues at the state and federal level. Below are the farmer leaders running for the 2021-2022 board.

 

District 2

Nicholas Davis has been farming for 10 years in Humboldt County where he produces corn, soybeans, and hay. Besides raising crops, he also manages a 4,800 head finishing unit as well as involved with seed sales. Outside of agriculture he served 3 years of active-duty in the U.S. Army.

Currently Davis serves as the president of the local Humboldt County Corn Growers Association as well as the Iowa Corn chair for District 2. He also enjoys sitting on the GNMC committee. Davis truly believes in supporting local agriculture as he is very active as member of the Humboldt County Fair Board and also president of the Humboldt County Pheasants Forever.

Davis is dedicated to giving farmers a voice on issues that impact their operations as well as sees great value in educating consumers about Iowa agriculture in all forms.

Nicholas and his wife Samantha have three children, Annabelle, Westley, and Theodore. 

 

Stu Swanson is a third-generation family farmer in the Galt and Clarion area raising corn and soybeans as well as custom feeding wean to finish hogs.

Swanson currently serves as the Iowa Corn Growers Association Director representing District 2. He has served on the Strategic Planning Taskforce and is vice chair of the Animal Agriculture & Environment committee. Swanson has served in leadership positions in the North Central Coop Board of Directors, County FSA Committee, and the Wright County Fair Swine Committee. After college, he worked at the Iowa Pork Producers Association as the Director of Producer Education.

Swanson is a current member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, and Iowa Pork Producers Association as well as the Wright County Farm Bureau.

Swanson is passionate about accelerating water quality efforts in Iowa. He uses buffer strips, wetland, conservation reserve acres and nitrogen stabilizers to help improve soil health and water on his own farm. He implemented a two-and-a-half-acre grid soil sampling program 10 years ago in order to fertilize each acre more precisely and utilizes poultry and hog manure to fertilize nearly two-thirds of his farms from his own and neighboring facilities.

He enjoys spending time with his wife, Lori and four daughters. He is proud to instill the importance of agriculture with his children.

District 5

Mark Kenney has been farming near Polk City for 16 years producing corn, seed corn and soybeans. He also spent two years in agriculture finance at Agricredit Acceptance LLC.

Kenney has served on both the Grassroots Network, Membership and Checkoff committee as well as the Industrial Usage and U.S. Production committee at Iowa Corn and is a graduate of the Iowa Corn I-LEAD program. Since 2011 he has been an active member of Farm Bureau’s Speaker Crops program allowing him to give many interviews with local, state, national and even international press on agriculture topics. He is also an associate member of the Key Coop board. Outside of agriculture, Kenney is a member of Hope Lutheran Church in Ankeny and a local basketball coach.

Kenney earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Science from Northwest Missouri State as well as a Master’s in Agriculture and has put this education to work on his family farm. He feels growing demand for corn both domestically and internationally are important, and if elected to ICGA he looks forward to working to maintain and grow the ethanol market. He believes corn farmers need to seize the opportunity to position ethanol blends as a more environmentally friendly alternative.

Over the years Kenney has hosted numerous domestic and international visitors to his farm and feels honored to be a spokesperson for agriculture. He also enjoys promoting corn at the Iowa State Fair, working with commodity groups on social media and being a panelist of several forums dedicated to discussing topics in agriculture.

Kenney and his wife Julie raise two children Lauren and Landon. Because of his children he works hard to grow markets for corn to ensure the next generation of Iowa corn farmers have as much, and if not more, opportunity to grow their farms.

 

Will Cannon has been producing corn, soybeans, forages, and cereal rye for 22 years in Jasper County. His passion for conservation is shown throughout his operation as he practices no-till, strip till and cover crops. He also has worked at Ag Leader Technology in tech support and product development for ten years.

Currently Cannon is chair of the Iowa Corn District 5 committee, is a graduate from the Iowa Corn I-LEAD Class 4 and has hosted the World Pork Expo International Dinner for multiple years. He is also active with the Iowa Soybean Association and previously sat on the Jasper County Farm Bureau Board. Outside of agriculture he is a member of City Church of Ames in the Des Moines area.

Soil health and sustainability both environmentally and economically are important to Cannon. That is why he hosts many conservation field days on his farm as well as educates himself on both private and public programs trying to incentivize farmers in his area to use conservation programs. While farmer education is a huge passion of his, Cannon also finds value in educating consumers where their food comes from. He is proud of his “open farm gate policy” allowing him to host thousands of interested people on his farm. Because his farm is located only 20 minutes from Des Moines, he takes this responsibility seriously to be an ambassador to farming in his own way. Cannon is truly ready to bring the knowledge he has gains combined with his passion for farming to make a difference in this industry.

Cannon and his wife Cassie raise two children, Oliver and Case, whom he hopes to have the opportunity to live the great farm lifestyle.

District 7

Adam Bierbaum has been farming for 11 years on his family’s century farm in Cass County where he grows corn and soybeans. Adam currently serves on the Iowa Corn Animal Agriculture and Environment Committee and is a former member of the Iowa Corn Collegiate Advisory Team (CAT), and the Iowa Corn Leadership Enhancement and Development (I-LEAD). He is also active on the Cass County Corn Growers Board and currently serves as an Iowa Corn District 7 ICGA Board member.

Adam has a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in agronomy. He also serves on the Wallace Foundation and is a member of Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Soybean Association.

His family’s farming operation has practiced no-till farming for over 20 years where he works to incorporate the best environmental practices into his operation using cover crops and other conservation practices.

Adam and his wife Megan have one son, Nathan.

 

Kaleb Tillman has been farming for 12 years in Page County where he raises corn, beans, and oats as well as a cow calf operation. Besides farming Tillman also works as an Insurance Agent for United Group Insurance.

Tillman attended Iowa Central Community College where he received an Ag Tech degree. He has been on the Farm Bureau Board of Directors for 10 years and has served as both the President and Vice Present within that time.

Tillman and is wife Bethann live in Essex, IA.

 

Iowa Corn Promotion Board: Crop Reporting Districts 4, 8, and 9 

Since 1978, Iowa corn farmers have elected their peers to serve on the ICPB to oversee the investment of funds generated by the Iowa corn checkoff. ICPB Directors will continue to promote a thriving Iowa corn industry through research into new and value-added corn uses, domestic and foreign market development and providing education about corn and corn products. Below are the farmer leaders running for the 2021-2022 board.

District 4

Jerod Johnson, alongside his father, farms in the Shelby County area where they raise corn, beans, and hay as well as have a herd of stock cattle. For 13 years Johnson has worked as a Field Service Technician for Pride Mobility, working on lift chairs and powered wheelchairs in Iowa and Nebraska. He is also an excavation contractor.

Johnson has been the secretary for Shelby County Farm Bureau for the past four years and currently sits on the Loess Hills Ag in the Classroom Advisory Board. He is also an active member of the Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, and the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Outside of agriculture Johnson is a certified Fire Fighter and the only farmer on the rural Shelby Fire and Rescue department where he is currently the department’s Training Officer.

Johnson is passionate about the ethanol industry and believes the retail market for ethanol must continue to grow. He sees the green movement happening around him as an opportunity for farmers to promote ethanol as an environmentally friendly fuel source to consumers. Johnson takes pride in having grown up on his family’s century farm as a 5th generation farmer and truly sees the benefits that Iowa Corn has for the farmers in his area and state. 

Johnson enjoys farming with his wife Amber. Together they have three kids, Jorden, Katie, and Ellanor.

 

Ryan Steffensen has been row cropping in Winnebago County with his dad and brother for nine years and more recently picked up more farm ground in Guthrie County with his wife, Amanda. They are always looking for ways to better their conservation efforts and increase yields. He is a firm believer in riparian buffer strips, no-till, strip till, and split applications of nitrogen. Steffensen also finds true value in his off-farm career as a retail salesperson for Helena Agri-Enterprises LLC because it gives him great insight into production practices and allows him to see what other growers are doing to be successful.

Steffensen has been the Guthrie County Corn Growers President since 2016, and active in the District 4 Corn Growers committee starting in 2017 and is also a part of the Helena M.A.P. program. He was honored to be a part of the I-LEAD 9 class as well is serving on the Exports and Grain Trade Committee. Currently he is a Guthrie County Farm Bureau member, an Iowa Corn voting delegate and enjoys volunteering his time as a district FFA contest judge. Outside of agriculture he is a Winnebago/Hancock Pheasants Forever member and served on the banquet committee.

Steffensen is passionate about the ethanol industry, new uses for corn-plastics and sharing Iowa agriculture with consumers. Since starting his farming career in 2012 he has experienced some great and some poor years along the way, but no matter what he is focused on growing his farming operation to pass on to his kids and instill in them the same passion for conservation and agronomy he possesses. He feels by being a part of Iowa Corn he is surrounding himself with the best people this industry has to offer and is excited to help better the industry for all Iowa growers.

Steffensen and Amanda have three kids, Eva, Cora and Mila. 

District 8

Jerod Flaherty has been farming in Clarke County for 16 years producing corn, soybeans and various forage crops as well as raising a cow herd. On his operation he utilizes cover crops as well as rotational grazing.

Currently Flaherty participates on the Clarke County FSA Committee and is a part of the Clarke County Cattlemen. Outside of agriculture he is a leader and teacher at the Osceola Church of Christ.

He would like the opportunity to be elected as an ICPB director to better represent the non-land-owning tenant farmers as he feels is an underrepresented population in many agriculture industries. He believes tenant farmers have a unique perspective on Iowa agriculture and wants to share his insight.

Flaherty and his wife, Jess have three kids, Grant, Isla Kay and Louie Marie.

 

Rob Vos has been producing corn, soybeans, and small grains in the Marion County area for over 40 years. Conservation is important to Vos, he utilizes cover crops on his operation such as rye and oats. 

Vos has served on the board of directors for the Two Rivers Co-op, as a 4-H club leader for the Leighton Strivers club, and as past president of the Red Rock Threshers. Currently he is a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Chapter 5 IH Collectors and the FFA/Vo-Ag Exploratory Committee. Outside of agriculture he is a Pella Christian Grade School Board Member and a member of his local church council.

If elected, Vos is interested in working closely with promoting conservation, sustainability of agriculture and the promotion of ethanol to consumers. He also believes the development and accessibility of rural internet services are important for the connectivity and technology advancements of farmers and sees advancements in this space needing to be made for his fellow farmers. Vos is also passionate about youth involvement in agriculture and would like to get better involvement from Iowa corn producers in this area. 

Vos and his wife Teri have three children, Jessica, Ben and Jack who all enjoy helping out on the farm.

District 9

Stan Nelson has been farming for 39 years in Des Moines County where he raises corn, soybeans for seed and hay with help from his son-in-law. On his operation he utilizes cover crops and has tile and terrace projects. 

Currently, Nelson represents District 9 on the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and serves as vice chair of the Iowa Corn Research and Business Development Committee He has also been involved in the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Cattleman’s Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association as well as the Iowa Farm Bureau. He is currently serving as the President of the Des Moines County Corn Growers. His past agricultural leadership roles include being a director at the Iowa Soybean Association District 9 for five years.

Outside of agriculture Nelson is active within his community and serves as a Deacon at the Harmony Bible Church. He has also served as a school board member at the Danville Community School District for nine years and as a Danville Township Trustee.

Nelson graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in farm operations. He and his wife, Martha, reside near Middletown and five children and four grandchildren.

 

David Vandenberg has been farming for 40 years in the Lee County area. On his operation he grows corn, soybeans, and wheat where he enjoys staying up to date on the newest farming technology advances and utilizes RTK, and WAAS GPS systems on his own farm.

Currently Vandenberg is the Vice President of the local Lee County Corn Growers as well as the District 9 committee for ICGA. He is proud to be involved with the ICGA organization since 1999. Vandenberg was also a founding member of the Iowa Quality Growers (IQAG) IOS 9002 certified and a former Lee County Fair Board Member. Outside of agriculture he is a Ruling Elder with the Sharon Presbyterian Church, a member of Lake Cooper Angling Association, is a Sharon Cemetery Association trustee and a Lee County Republican Committee member.

If elected Vandenberg would like to work on promoting ethanol within the agriculture industry and leverage his knowledge of boating issues and the negativity ethanol receives from the oil manufacturing companies.   Because he was raised on a small family farm in Southeast Iowa, he knows the importance of supporting a voice like the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and would like to further join the effort in promoting corn products and searching for new markets all over the world.

Vandenberg and his wife, Michelle have two kids Haley and Colton who both have careers in the agriculture industry.

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