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Get to know Rod Williamson, an Iowa Corn Staff Member

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 3:57 PM by Iowa Corn

David Ertl, Pat Schnable & Rod Williamson
As a true Iowan, I was born and raised on a farm near Wiota in Cass County. My father raised corn, soybeans, oats, and alfalfa and had some permanent pasture where he raised stock cows, calves, and finishing cattle. He also milked dairy cows, raised sows, feeder pigs, and finishing hogs. One year my father raised turkeys but that was the first and the last year he raised turkeys. My father passed away in 1996 from a farm accident and my mother still lives on the family farm.

Rod networking at the Endowed Chair Ceremony.
Rod taking part in a research tour.
After graduating from Anita High School, I attended college at Iowa State University. To minimize the amount I took out in loans, I did custom farming work that involved baling round bales of hay for several neighboring farmers. I am a proud Cyclone fan and graduated with a degree in Agricultural Mechanization.

Growing up on a farm instilled a lot of values and I tried to instill those in my children.  Although I miss farming, I still have one brother  who farms the family farm which allows me to get back and help during planting and harvest season.

Working for Iowa Corn for over 30 years has allowed me to stay involved in agriculture. Over the past three decades, I have seen many changes in agriculture and have learned a lot. A few of the many things I have learned include:  how to influence the process for passing state and federal laws and regulations; the tremendous impact of joining together to speak on behalf of the corn industry; the opportunities in working to commercialize new technology including biotechnology and new uses for corn; and how to develop a coalition and lead an initiative to make a positive impact on agriculture.  I’m proud to be part of an organization with outstanding farmer leaders and staff working to improve the corn industry.

I have three children and enjoy traveling whenever possible. My wife and I have traveled to Bosnia Herzegovina on a church mission, which opened my eyes to a new culture. My hobbies include woodworking, photography, tracking family history, volunteering in political campaigns, and volunteering to help with the activities of my three children.

Rod Williamson is the Research & Development Director for Iowa Corn. He is responsible for developing new technology, obtaining intellectual property (patents) and out-licensing of technology to commercial providers.  He has been involved in developing commercial corn hybrids and has managed various research programs.   Rod has a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Mechanization from Iowa State University. 

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