The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year as the country’s oldest and largest corn growers’ organization. The ICGA, created from a statewide grassroots effort, was formed in 1967 with the distinct purpose of serving as the collective voice for its Iowa corn farmer-members, lobbying on ag issues at the state and federal level.
“The Iowa Corn Growers Association has been a steadfast advocate for our membership over the last 50 years and will continue to be for the next 50 years and beyond,” said Iowa Corn Growers Association President Kurt Hora, a farmer from Washington. “The world may be a different place since our inception, but the dedication of our members at the grassroots level and their engagement in policy development has remained unchanged. Today, ICGA is home to nearly 7,500 corn farmer-members across the state, and our pro-farmer advocacy remains the number one reason members join ICGA.”
The beginning of Iowa Corn can be traced back to roughly 10 years before its inception when founder Walter Goeppinger had a vision for a farmer-driven group and in 1957 rallied his neighbors together to create the National Corn Growers Association. In 1959, he also was instrumental in airlifting Iowa hogs and corn to Yomanshi, Japan after a typhoon wiped out their hog farms. Goeppinger’s diplomacy is felt today with Japan being a top market for Iowa corn and pork. Flying the sows to Japan on an airplane, led to the establishment of the U.S. Grains Council and the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the market development efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture today.
In 1976, Goeppinger then set his sights on creating a state affiliate and founded ICGA. Membership dues were established to help finance the Iowa Corn Growers Association's lobbying and legislative efforts in both Iowa and Washington, D.C. In celebration of 50 years, the Association is launching a new membership push with the goal of reaching 10,000 members.
“As we continue to grow and represent the needs of corn farmers across the state, we are calling on our current members and those with a vested interest in agriculture, to help us expand our organization and strengthen our voice,” Hora said. “No matter the level that you are willing to be involved, from being a member engaging in a call-to-action to serving on a county board, it is imperative that we have the resources to continue supporting agriculture at the county, state, federal and global level. We have been here for Iowa corn farmers for the last 50 years, help us be here with full force for 50 more.”
The association offers various levels of membership including a grower membership for $60 annually in addition to student and associate memberships. In honor of this historic anniversary, ICGA is also offering a discounted membership for farm couples to enjoy a linked membership of $90 per year or $200 for three years. If you would like to learn more about what it means to be an ICGA member, please visit iowacorn.org/membership.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is a 7,500-member strong grassroots-driven organization, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, serving members across the state, and lobbying on agricultural issues on behalf of its farmer members to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability. For more information, visit iowacorn.org.