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Candidates for Director Elections

 

ICPB & ICGA director elections are fast approaching.

Iowa Corn Promotion Board:

Crop Reporting Districts 4,5,8, and 9 are up for election. The candidates are as follows:

USDA Crop Reporting District #4 (Audubon, Calhoun, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie, Harrison, Ida, Monona, Sac, Shelby, and Woodbury)

Larry Buss is a grain farmer from Logan, Iowa. His wife Bunny, two sons and their spouses, and grandson are involved in the family’s agricultural businesses. He has had success in two distinct careers - engineering for 46 years and farming/agribusiness. While his engineering career has ended, his farming/agribusiness career continues. He focuses on continuously making improvements to the land his family operates. He has been no-till farming for 33 years and employs the use of cover crops.

Larry served in the US Army Reserve, holding leadership positions with the Corps of Engineers and was recognized both nationally and internationally as an expert in water resources engineering with an emphasis on flood risk reduction. Larry has degrees from Iowa State University and the University of Nebraska. He served on the external advisory council for the ISU Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department and as Chairman of the Logan, Iowa Sesquicentennial Planning Committee.

He is President of the Harrison/Crawford County Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Grassroots Network, Membership & Checkoff Committee Chair, and a member of the Iowa Corn Strategic Planning Task Force, the National Corn Growers Association Risk Management Action Team, U.S. Grains Council Middle East/Africa Action Team and the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Program Implementation Team. Larry is the current Iowa Corn Promotion Board Director representing District 4.

Buss chairs the Rand-Peterson Levee District leading efforts in Western Harrison County against future Missouri River floods. He acts as President of the Logan Kiwanis and as an Iowa Soybean Association Ex-Officio Director, and Vice President of Immanuel Lutheran Church. He sat on the Iowa Corn Research and Business Development Committee and is a member of Farm Bureau and the Soybean Association. 

His goals for the ICPB include overall increasing profitability for corn producers by developing new markets and adding more value to corn, increasing corn demand from existing markets, and increasing education on the value and use of corn. He also helping the lead efforts to increase Iowa Corn Growers Association membership to strengthen Iowa Corn’s ability to support farmers.

Brandon Strutzenberg began farming with his father Kent and his bother Keyton six years ago on their fourth-generation farm in Calhoun County where they raise corn and soybeans. Together, they raise corn and soybeans. He also works as a farm drainage contractor and a crop insurance adjuster. He has held several positions within the agriculture community, including working at a co-op, and now as a crop insurance adjustor and as a farm drainage contractor.

Brandon has been a part of the Iowa Corn Collegiate Advisory Team and is currently serving on the Iowa Corn Export and The Grain Trade committee, the U.S. Grains Council Middle East & Africa Action Team and served an alternate at the National Corn Growers Association Corn Congress. Strutzenberg is a member of the Iowa Farm Bureau and Iowa Corn Growers Association at the county level.

Being a young farmer who is betting his future on agriculture, Strutzenberg would like to do all he can to ensure that the future of this industry is successful. If elected, Brandon would like to focus on continuing to work on free trade promotion and expanding export markets, efforts to improve our state’s water quality, and increasing ag education in our schedule to grow the public knowledge and understanding of agriculture. 

USDA Crop Reporting District #5 (Boone, Dallas, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Story, Tama, and Webster)

Michael Fritch has been farming for 15 years on his fifth-generation family farm in Jasper County with his dad Lonne where he grows corn, soybeans, and hay. He also has a cow/calf operation. He graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in Agronomy.

He employs the use of no-till and cover crops because he says that water quality is extremely important to his farm because he hope to pass it on some day to the next generation.

If elected, he wants to continue to support a strong Renewable Fuels Standard, push for the use on E15 year-round, and work to expand export markets for corn and corn products.

Fritch is a graduate of the Iowa Corn Leadership Enhancement and Development (I-LEAD) Class 7 and has also completed the Pioneer Next Generation Program. He is president of the Dallas/Polk County Corn Growers and is currently serving his second year on the Iowa Corn Exports and The Grain Trade Committee. He also sits on the U.S. Grains Council Asia Pacific Action Team. Hel has a passion for educating youth about the importance of agriculture as well as showing the public that farmers care about water quality.

Michael and his three children Stephanie, Cooper and Carson reside on his farm near Mitchellville. They all enjoy various 4-H projects and being involved in their church.

Rod Pierce has been farming for more than 40 years on his fourth-generation farm in Boone County raising corn and soybeans and previously cattle and hogs. He farms with wife Julie, his son Bret and his daughter-in-law Liz. He has a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University in Science and Farm Operations, is a Certified Crop Advisor and a former Pioneer Sales Representative. 

He says that ethanol has been extremely important to his operation.  If elected, he will focus on promoting the expansion of ethanol sales through year-round E15 and helping gas stations convert pumps to those with ethanol blend options. He would also like to explore new uses for corn. He wants to ensure that the Iowa corn checkoff dollars are spent wisely and get placed in areas for maximum return, generating the greatest exposure for the product.

He is a member of the Iowa Corn Growers and Iowa Soybean Association and is currently on the St Thomas Aquinas Church Pastoral Council. He was formerly active in the Iowa Pork Producers and has held positions on the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity Eta Chapter Alumni Board, the Farm Credit Services Regional Advisory Board, and the Ogden Community School Board.

Rod and his wife Julie have four children Jill, Bret, Matthew and Mark, and their spouses and eight grandchildren.

USDA Crop Reporting District #8 (Appanoose, Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Ringgold, Union, Warren, and Wayne)

Corwin Fee has farmed for 42 years in Marion County. He currently raises corn, beans and alfalfa, along with a cow-calf operation, with his son Eric. He has no tilled for more than 30 years on his farm and sees conservation practices as a priority. Among farmers, he hopes to enhance conservation practices and ensure we are great stewards of the environment. 

He has been involved in leadership in the Iowa Soybean Association and served on the American Soybean Association Executive Board and as an International Marketing Director. He has been privileged to travel extensively to view not only our competition globally, but also our international customers. If elected, he would like to work on the profitability of sustainable agriculture, trade and technology.

Fee has served as Marion County Farm Bureau President and a state voting delegate. Previously, he served on the board of Farm Credit Services and on his Soil & Water Conservation District.

Corwin and his wife Carol have two sons Eric and Curtis. Along with his son Eric, he manages and advocates for their small family farm. 

Gary Petersohn has been farming for more than 40 years raising corn, soybeans, hay and maintaining a cow/calf operation. He serves on the Iowa Corn Grassroots Network, Membership & Checkoff Committee.

Gary is a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. He served for 24 years on the Farmers Cooperative Company Board in Afton, Iowa and for many of those years as vice president. Petersohn has filled many non-ag leadership roles as well, such as 12 years on the Mount Ayr Community school board, including two years as president. He spent seven years in the Iowa National Guard. He is also a past member of the Tingley Presbyterian Church board and the Tingley Lions Club. Gary appreciates the ongoing success of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and would be pleased to represent his district.

Gary and his wife Teena have two daughters and two grandchildren.

USDA Crop Reporting District #9 (Davis, Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Mahaska, Van Buren, Wapello, and Washington)

Paul Gieselman has been farming for more than 20 years in Louisa County raising corn, soybeans, hay, aronia berries and cattle. He also runs his own small trucking company. He previously worked for Dupont Pioneer Seed and Encirca CSA. Paul has traveled to China, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as California and the Midwest on agriculture trade missions. He employs several conservation practices on his farm including, no-till and reduced tillage, buffer strips and terraces.

If elected, he will focus on finding common-sense approaches to improving water quality realizing that every farm and farmer is different. He enjoys talking with the non-farm public and helping to engage with them on many different issues including GMOs and animal care. He would continue this work at the state level if elected to the board.

Paul is a graduate of the Iowa Corn Leadership Enhancement and Development (I-LEAD) Class 6. He has been an active leader on the Louisa County Farm Bureau Board as well as a State Voting Delegate for the national convention. He is currently the Beef Superintendent for the Louisa County Fair.

Paul and his wife Sara have two children August and Benjamin.

Stan Nelson has farmed for 33 years in Des Moines County. He raises corn, soybean and occasionally wheat and hay alongside with his son-in-law. Nelson employs several conservation practices on his farm, including using no-till, cover crops, and variable nitrogen application.

Stan has been involved in the Iowa Soybean Association, the Iowa Cattleman’s Association, as well as the Iowa Farm Bureau. He is currently serving as the President of the Des Moines County Corn Growers and sits on the Iowa Corn Research & Business Development Committee. His past agricultural leadership roles include being Director at the Iowa Soybean Association District 9 for five years.  Nelson is a 1980 graduate of Iowa State University.

He is active in his community and volunteers as a Deacon in the Harmony Bible Church. He has also served as a school board member at the Danville Community School District for the last nine years and as a Danville Township Trustee.

Nelson is interested in all aspects of agriculture and if elected, would like to promote sustainable and profitable farm operations.

Stan and his wife, Martha, have five children.

Iowa Corn Growers Association

Crop Reporting Districts 2,5,6,7 and 8 are up for election. The candidates are as follows:

USDA Crop Reporting District #2 (Butler, Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Humbodt, Kossuth, Mitchell, Winnebago, Worth, Wright)

Jerry Maier farms near Eagle Grove in Wright County, where he raises corn and soybeans. He has been farming for 36 years. He has been actively involved in the Wright County Corn Growers Association for almost 30 years.

Jerry, is currently in the third year of his first term on the board, serving as the Vice Chairman for the Research & Business Development Committee.  He previously served on the Animal Ag & The Environment Committee. Maier is starting his second year as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Food, Feed and Industrial Action Committee and recently became a member of the U.S. Grains Council Asia Advisory Team. He is passionate about finding new uses and markets for corn.  He also enjoys educating consumers about ethanol.

Maier also believes in community involvement.  He served as president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and was a church council member.  He was part of the Eagle Grove Community Development Commission for 15 years and served terms as president and vice president. He is currently chairman of the Wright County Board of Adjustment and Co-chair of the City of Eagle Grove Planning and Zoning commission. 

Jerry and his wife Susan have two sons and they are proud of both of their involvement with Iowa Corn.  Brett, an Iowa State University junior, serves as president of the ISU Corn Club and Brandon, a I-LEAD Class 7 graduate, sits on the Iowa Corn Animal Ag & The Environment Committee.

Stuart Swanson is a third-generation family farmer in the Galt and Clarion area, raising corn and soybeans, and operating a farrow-to-finish hog operation. He sells hogs to Lewright’s Locker in Eagle Grove which processes and sells pork from his farm to grocery stores and restaurants in Central and Northern Iowa.

Swanson serves on the Iowa Corn Animal Agriculture and Environment Committee and Iowa Corn Strategic Planning Taskforce where he hopes to help implement this plan while serving on the board. Stuart is also 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 this farm.

He 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. He has held positions on the North Central Coop board of directors including serving as President for two years and as a director on the county FSA committee. Stuart also received the honor of being selected by the Iowa Pork Producers Association as Master Pork Producer in 2017.

Swanson is a current member of Iowa’s corn, soybean, and pork producers associations, as well as the Wright County Farm Bureau. In addition, he plays an active role in many activities with Wright County Fair including serving on the swine committee and has sat on the county 4-H youth committee and is the current leader for the Wright County PIG 4-H club.

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

USDA Crop Reporting District #5 (Boone, Dallas, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Story, Tama, and Webster)

Dennis Friest raises corn and soybeans, maintains a sow herd, and runs a farrow-to-finish operation in Hardin County. He has been farming for 45 years.

Denny currently serves Iowa Corn Animal Agriculture & The Environment Chairman and serves on U.S. Grains Council Value Added A-Team. He is past president of the Iowa Soybean Association, current president of the Hardin County Corn and Soybean Association and served on the Hardin County Pork Producers board. Dennis chaired the Middle East International Marketing Committee for the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health for the American Soybean Association. He completed nine years on the American Soybean Board. He served 20 years on the Hardin County Extension Council and three years on the ISU Extension Advisory Committee.

Dennis has served as a trustee for Zion Lutheran Church and is a past commander of the Radcliffe American Legion post. He sees possible regulation of nutrient and chemical use as the biggest challenge facing Iowa farmers and wants to work with environmentalists to achieve workable solutions.  He is also interested in expanding foreign trade and especially in promoting livestock and value-added products to increase corn use. Dennis graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Animal Science. He and his wife Helen have three children. His son Brent farms with him.

Carol Miller her husband Randy and son Dennis in Polk, Boone and Story Counties growing corn and soybeans. Her family previously raised feeder calves and had a farrow-to-finish hog operation. Carol grew up in the city but helped on her cousin’s farm as a teenager and her step dad’s farm as an adult. She has been farming for 43 years and has participated in all aspects of production agriculture.

Carol has enjoyed adapting to new technologies in their row crop operation including GPS enabled planting monitors, seed technology, and production practices. Her family maintains several conservation practices on their farms and those of their landlords, including terraces and grass waterways.  They have also added a bio-reactor on one of their farms and are in the process of installing two additional bioreactors with the option for a saturated buffer on two other farms. They have enrolled in a five-year cover crops program and split two 80-acre fields for a side-by-side comparison between conventional versus no-till planting and crop management practices.

If elected, she will work to engage the public on what farmers are doing to proactively improve the state’s water quality, to promote corn and corn value-added products, promote agriculture in the classroom, and scholarships for students pursuing a career in an agriculture-related field. She has served on the Polk County Farm Bureau Board of Directors including on the Executive Board as Past President, a voting delegate, and a past winner of the Outstanding Women in Agriculture Award.

Carol says that she is a dedicated supporter of agriculture and their hope is to leave their farms better than when they first farmed them to pass on to the next generation.

USDA Crop Reporting District #6 (Benton, Cedar, Clinton, Iowa, Johnson, Jackson, Jones, Linn, Muscatine)

Lance Lillibridge farms in Benton County and grows corn, soybeans and alfalfa. He also raises Red Angus cattle and horses. He has farmed for more than 20 years. Lance employs several conservation practices on his farm, including strip tillage and planting cover crops.

Lillibridge chairs both the Benton County Corn Growers and the Iowa Corn District 6 Committee. He is also a member of Iowa Farm Bureau, the Red Angus Association, the North American Red Angus Association and has served as a former 4-H leader. He sits on the advisory committee for the Benton Tama Nutrient Reduction Strategy. 

Lance volunteers as a deacon at Oak Grove Christian Church in Shellsburg. He has a passion for agriculture and would like to educate consumers on the importance it has for our state.

Lance farms with his wife, Heidi, their two children. His family is passionate about growing food and fuel in a sustainable, wholesome and profitable manner. They are actively engaged with the public and in their community.

Mikayla Edwards as worked on her family’s fifth-generation farm in Linn for eight years, farming with her father for three and both her grandfather and father for five years. They raise corn, soybeans, hay and beef cattle.

Water quality and soil health are front and center for Mikayla and her family’s farming operation. She employs several conservation practices on her farm, including no-till and minimum tillage, grass waterways, cover crops and a responsible manure management plan. She is currently employed with the Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District. She is a graduate of Iowa State University in ecology and agronomy.

Edwards has been active with Iowa Corn Growers Association since joining six years ago at the age of 15, even participating in many events before then with her grandfather, Gary Edwards. Through Iowa Corn, she has traveled the country advocating for Iowa’s corn farmers and building relations with other agricultural industries.

She is a former member of the Iowa Corn Collegiate Advisory Team (CAT), sits on the Iowa Corn Animal Ag & The Environment Committee, and previously served on the Iowa Corn Grassroots Network, Membership & Checkoff Committee and as the membership liaison for the Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce. Mikayla is also a member of Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

USDA Crop Reporting District #7 (Adams, Adair, Cass, Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, Taylor)

Carl Jardon, farms near Randolph in Fremont County.  He raises corn and soybeans and backgrounds Holstein heifers.  He has been farming for 35 years and uses cover crops, miles of terraces and no-till conservation practices on his farm.

Carl currently serves as the Iowa Corn Growers Association Director for Direct 7 and sit on the Exports and The Grain Trade Committee. If re-elected, he hopes to continue to work on ethanol expansion and maintaining a strong Renewable Fuels Standard and on exports in all forms.

He is currently serving as a Fremont County Soil and Water Conservation Commissioner. He previously held positions on Fremont County Extension Council and the Fremont County Fair Board. Jardon is currently a member of the Fremont County Corn and Soybean Association and the Fremont County Cattlemen’s Association, and the Fremont County Farm Bureau. He is a member of Imogene Hometown Pride, the St. Mary’s Catholic Church and of the Knights of Columbus.

Carl graduated from Iowa State University. He and his wife Denise, have two adult children, Ryan and Rebecca.

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

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

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

Adam says his involvement in Iowa Corn at the local, district and state level has taught him how important it is for agriculture to have a strong, unified voice. If elected, he will work on engaging with consumers, increasing farmers' adoption of conservation practices, and support efforts to increase demand for corn, including through ethanol and trade policy.

Adam enjoys farming and spending time with his spouse Megan.

USDA Crop Reporting District #8 (Appanoose, Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Ringgold, Union, Warren, and Wayne) 

Steve Kuiper has farmed for more than 30 years growing corn and soybeans on his family’s farm in Marion County. He worked in manufacturing at Vermeer for 30 years. He holds an associate degree from Indiana Hills Community College. 

Kuiper has been a part of a local ethanol plant promotion and participates in a local growers group who develops specialty markets and agricultural investments. He sits on the board of the Marion County Farm Bureau.

If elected to the ICGA board, Steve hopes to help develop new markets for corn and corn products, support the growth of Iowa’s ethanol industry and reduce burdensome regulations for agribusiness.

Steve enjoys farming and spending time with his wife Melinda and their children and grandchildren.

Cathy Elgin-Ayers farms in Warren and Clarke Counties where she grows corn, soybeans, and hay. She has been farming for 22 years, 12 of those years with her father and 10 years on her own. She studied Public Service and Administration in Agriculture at Iowa State University. In the late 70’s and 80’s, she was a sales representative for Stauffer Chemical traveling 36 counties in south central Nebraska. She would come home each spring and fall to help with planting and harvest.

In the spring of 2006, her Dad hired a young farmer in the community to put in the crop. When he asked Cathy’s dad how he should plant his fields, her dad replied, “plant it like you own it.” The relationship with that farmer continues as he and his family custom farm Cathy’s land. She has employed both the use of no-till and cover crops on her farm for the last six years.

If elected, she will support stability and the development of global markets, continue to invest in the expansion of biofuels, and oppose burdensome mandates and regulations governing agriculture.

She serves on the board of Iowa Women in Agriculture, Warren County Women Land and Legacy Program, is a Warren County Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioner and a Regional Director of the Conservation Districts of Iowa.  Ayers was also one of eight women recognized by Iowa State University for “Women Impacting the Land” in 2016. She has previously held positions as an Iowa FFA Foundation board member and judged various SAE’s and CDE’s at the district, state, and national FFA conventions. She is a life member of the National FFA Alumni Association and the Iowa State Alumni Association and an active member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Soybean Association.

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