Posted on 07/23/2018 at 11:55 AM by Iowa Corn
Gordon Wassnaar is a long-time farmer who was born and raised in Prairie City, Iowa where his family farm has resided since 1919. The farm has been in his family just shy of a centennial.
Waasnaar has held many positions in his life including being a member of the Iowa Corn Board, Iowa Soybean Board, Jasper County Conservation Board, and his local Coop Board. “I try to stay busy,” says Waasnaar. Waasnaar’s passion for the agricultural industry makes him a valuable farmer to our organization. Today he stays involved with the Iowa Corn Growers by hosting trade teams throughout the years, handing out water bottles at the ballparks, and inviting people out to his yearly field days. Waasnaar has been active in Iowa Corn for over 40 years.
Waasnaar spends many hours each year building demand for corn across the world. “These are our customers. We must recognize we can’t sell everything that we grow in this country, and we must market internationally. There’s nothing like bringing somebody to your place and showing them what you have. That’s how you sell things.” He states.
“The Japanese track our corn crop all summer long. We had a group here from Thiawan in the fall. They had heard we had some problems with our crop that year, so we took them out right here at my farm to show them.”
“You can talk and talk and talk, but there’s nothing like showing them.”
“These people from around the world here today, they won’t forget this, being on an Iowa farm, eating an Iowa pork chop in rural Iowa talking to life long farmers. They won’t forget that.”
Wassnar believes farmers need to understand markets and be willing to share their farm and farm’s story.
“We have to market, and we have to tell our story. We need to talk about soil quality, fertility and erosion. We have got to really hit these issues hard, before they come back to hurt us further down the road because we didn’t push hard enough.”
With his commitment to Iowa Corn, community organizations and other Iowa commodity groups, Wassnar wishes to tell other farmers the importance of community and giving back to Iowa.
“I am a very big believer in commodity groups. I believe one of the reasons we have success is because we sell our crops and we talk business. I really don’t know what we would do without our commodity groups. It’s the best way to tell our story to the world market. I have met farmers from all of the world, and become very close, to the point where I can call most of them family.”
“We are always going to need to sell. In my lifetime I have seen corn yields triple.”