Posted on September 8, 2018 at 9:00 AM by Iowa Corn
The Iowa Corn Growers Association works diligently to protect and defend our corn industry. Our policy development process is the key to ensure a bright future for generations to come and supporting sound policy development and pro-farmer legislation at the local, state and national levels is what the ICGA does best.
It is important to remember that our process is entirely grassroots driven – meaning that it begins and ends with our members. You help determine the future of our organization. Our development process is broken down into three steps beginning with the member survey that we send out every year. We use this as an opportunity for our members to provide policy feedback and to help set the direction of our organization. We value your feedback and take great care in reviewing the comments that you send in. The second step would be our roundtable meetings that are held every summer across the state. We encourage all members to attend a roundtable and provide insight to Iowa Corn about what is happening on your farms. We use these regional roundtable meetings to discuss the how Iowa Corn can benefit your farm and hear the concerns of our members. Lastly, the culmination of our policy development process is the Annual Grassroots Summit.
The 2018 summit was held on August 24-25 in Des Moines at the Community Choice Credit Union and Event Center. TED talk speaker and author, Adam Carroll kicked off the summit as a guest speaker inspiring members to take an active role in their organizations. Iowa Corn Growers President, Curt Mether, and Iowa Corn Promotion Board President, Wayne Humphreys, welcomed delegates and guests to the summit before beginning development of the 2018 Iowa Corn policy session.
Participants enjoyed taking part in a Friday afternoon club-small group discussions. Ten topics were available members could choose from: Social Media, FFA/Ag Education, Farm Bill, Soil Health, Research, Ethanol, Trade Promotion, Consumer Relations, River Transportation, and Livestock. Each panel had an industry professional to answer questions about these trending topics and discussed Iowa Corn’s involvement in these issues on behalf of our members.
Members enjoyed the evening I-LEAD graduation ceremony of 22 agriculture industry rising stars. Elyssa McFarland and Kale Petersen delivered a recap of the I-LEAD Class 9 experience and mission travels. Lt. Governor and I-LEAD Class 6 graduate Adam Gregg was in attendance congratulating the class and reassured the class the impact leadership programs have on their future. Members wrapped up the evening with another successful fundraising auction for the Iowa Corn Political Action Committee (PAC), raising voluntary funds to support political engagement activities for the PAC. We are grateful for each and every members’ generous PAC donations.
The Local Leaders Awards Breakfast kicked off Saturday morning with an update from Iowa Corn Grassroots Network & Checkoff Committee Chair, Larry Buss, and the plan of reaching 10,000 members. Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig was in attendance welcoming and thanking members for participating in the policy development of their organization. While recognizing the efforts of many of our outstanding local leaders and their programming at the county and district level, we also presented 16 $1,000 scholarships to students studying an agricultural related program at an Iowa university or college.
Following President Curt Mether and President Wayne Humphrey’s presidential updates and goals for the upcoming year, members heard from National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) president, Kevin Skunes. Laila Down, former National FFA Officer inspired participants as the guest speaker to members on reaching the goal of 10,000 members.
Two “Friend of Iowa Corn” awards were presented, at the start of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Luncheon, awarding leaders from outside the ICGA for being champions for the corn industry. Andrew Brandt, Agriculture Legislative Assistant to Senator Chuck Grassley and Michael Dolch, Agriculture Legislative Assistant to Senator Joni Ernst were recognized for their support of ethanol, trade, and countless other corn farmers issues. The final award presented at the summit is the Walter Goeppinger Lifetime Achievement award, given to an Iowa Corn member who has showcased exemplary leadership skills and service throughout their time with Iowa Corn. This year, we had the honor of recognizing Gordon Wassenaar for his exceptional dedication and leadership in the agriculture industry.
The summit wrapped up with an update from our partners at University of Iowa Athletic Director, Gary Bara and Iowa State University Athletic Director Jamie Pollard. We want to thank all our members who took the time out of their busy schedules to partake in the 2018 Annual Grassroots Summit. Your commitment and dedication does not go unnoticed.