Nebraska Corn Growers:

 

In an effort to be more strategic in prioritizing the research funded by the Nebraska Corn Checkoff Program, the Nebraska Corn Board is asking for your assistance in identifying the issues that hold the most importance to Nebraska farmers.

 

As the first step in focusing research funding, the Board would like to ensure that no issues impacting your profitability have been overlooked – including opportunities for increasing demand.  Please take a moment to complete this anonymous survey by selecting the level of importance each issue has in terms of value to your farm and your profitability over the next 10 years.  The survey is only 11 questions and we expect it will take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

 

While our first priority is to hear from farmers, we welcome feedback from others with valuable input (e.g. crop consultants, extension educators, etc.).  To participate, please click on the following link.  If you receive multiple survey invites, please complete only one.  Also, feel free to forward this survey link to others.  This survey will be open through Wednesday, September 30.

 

Nebraska Corn Board Research Strategy Survey

 

The Nebraska Corn Board appreciates your assistance in helping us capture the greatest value from your checkoff investment in research. 

 

Thank you,

 

Nebraska Corn Board Research Committee

 

On August 20th and 21st the Corn and Soy Mentors took part in an agricultural industry tour. This tour gives the students the opportunity to see different aspects of the agriculture industry and learn about job opportunities and internships available to them. The first stop on this year’s tour was the Novozymes plant in Blair. Novozymes-Blair specializes in making world-class enzymes, a key technology component for both the existing and advanced biofuels markets. The students introduced to the process of making enzymes and were then able to tour the laboratory and facility where it is done. The second stop of the morning was to Valmont Industries in Valley. Here the mentors were treated to lunch and a tour of a portion of the campus where the Valley center pivots are made. The highlight of the tour was seeing the galvanization process for a very large utility pole. The afternoon began at the Linden Market Hy-Vee in Omaha. The mentor students visited with dietician Carrie Nielsen, as well as the meat manager and the store’s cheese specialist. They were able to ask questions about consumer trends and preferences, as well as share their own agricultural knowledge. The Hy-Vee stop was a change for the students to practice their agvocating skills! The final stop of the day took the group to Ag Processing Inc. (AGP). The students learned about the company, as well as the many internship and future job opportunities available to them.

On Friday, the Corn and Soy Mentors were joined by the Nebraska Pork mentors for the final two industry stops. First the group toured the Union Pacific Harriman Dispatch Center in downtown Omaha. Affectionately referred to as the bunker, the dispatch center is where the movement of more than 850 trains is tracked. The center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Students were then introduced to the many career and internship opportunities in the company. UP hires many recent graduates to a variety of departments, there are jobs for many different majors! The final stop of the 2015 tour was Farm Credit Services of America. Farm Credit has consistently been named one of Omaha’s best places to work, and the students found out why. Kelly Rutter and Craig Kinnison gave great presentations on the company and the kind of culture FCS wants for its employees. The Corn and Soy Mentor students will have their final meeting in September, before ending the year-long program. The program is sponsored by the Nebraska Soybean Board, the Nebraska Corn Board, the Nebraska Soybean Association, and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.

Goal I: Have a strong and vital Nebraska Corn Growers organization supported by a grassroots membership.

  1. Have 2,500 members by March 31, 2016.
  2. Develop projects encouraging more local participation.
  3. Develop membership value programs and recruiting incentives.
  4. Develop programs that recognize outstanding agricultural contributors.
  5. Have 18 active and viable local organizations by the year 2016.

Goal II: Educate the public regarding corn production and utilization.

  1. Cooperate with the Nebraska Corn Board to achieve this goal.
  2. Educate and inform agricultural stakeholders on issues that affect our industry.
  3. Become more actively involved in non-agriculture organizations.
  4. Develop a relationship with the media sources, providing information and materials.
  5. Inform the public of the value of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.

Goal III: Provide effective representation in legislative and regulatory settings.

  1. Be represented in the Nebraska legislature by a lobbyist, qualified staff and corn farmer participation.
  2. Encourage each local to meet at least once a year with its state senator, and encourage association members to be in contact with national congressional members on issues affecting Nebraska.
  3. Develop a strong grassroots system to address issues at state and national levels.
  4. Have association leadership involved in entities which directly and indirectly affect Nebraska.
  5. Support and encourage members to take part in opportunities to attend activities of national scope.

Goal IV: Provide leadership in our state and national organization.

  1. Encourage Nebraskans to seek a national leadership position with NCGA and cooperator organizations.
  2. Provide resources for participation in state and national leadership training programs.
  3. Search and develop leaders at local, state, and national levels.

NeCGA Organizational Priorities

The NeCGA board of directors has prioritized the following 4 areas, and corresponding programs and topics as priorities for the 2015-2016 fiscal year.  NeCGA staff, board members, and local associations will be responsible for completing the priorities as appropriate.

  1. Leadership Development Programs
  1. Education and Outreach Programs
  1. State Advocacy Issues
  1. Federal Advocacy Issues

The Custer County Corn Growers summer crop tour was held on Tuesday, August 18th.  Their tour included four locations.

First stop was at Dave, Jason, and Rodney Lambs 160 acre drip irrigation field. This stop showed how this irrigation practice is being used to increase production and reduce the amount of irrigation water used to raise crops. At this locations, a drone was flown over the field to inspect and map with results in 15 minutes.  A weather station was demonstrated and benefits such as reduced irrigation was discussed by Pete Cunningham.

Next stop was at Clifford and Jeri Sterner’s shop.  Here Arrow Seed and Rich Russel presented on how cover crops can benefit the soil, environment, and help increase yields and reduce costs.

The third stop was at Brent and Leslie Safranek’s farm for a home tour. Last stop was at Joel and Bruce Bartak’s farm for a shop tour.

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Steve Ebke, Nebraska Corn Growers Association’s Government Relations Co-Chair

 

 

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Brad Ashford, United States Congressman Representing Nebraska’s 2nd District, speaks with Greg Whitmore, Nebraska Corn Growers Association’s Research Chair, and his daughter, Vanessa Whitmore.

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Representative Brad Ashford sharing with Kelly Brunkhorst, Executive Director of Nebraska Corn, and David & Jana Jobman, members of Nebraska Corn Growers.

 

Growers gathered in Minneapolis, MN this week for the first session of the NCGA Leadership Academy, co-sponsored by Syngenta. This year’s class includes 14 aspiring leaders from 9 states. Upon completion of the program in January, the participants will join more than 500 colleagues who have graduated from this program in the past 29 years.

At the meeting, participants got an up-close look at NCGA from President Chip Bowling, a Leadership Academy alumnus. Bowling also provided an insightful examination of the main issues facing the association, and the nation’s corn farmers, today.

The farmers attending took part in media training and public speaking exercises as well as association management skill building. In addition, the class enjoyed a look at the future trends that will impact the industry and a comprehensive economic forecast given by futurist Bob Treadway. Including presentations focused on communicating in today’s ADD world and a deep dive into how personalities impact interactions, the programming provided not only tools but insight into how they can be applied most effectively.

“As a Leadership Academy graduate, I have a deep appreciation for the confidence and skills attendees develop in such a short time, and of the ability of Syngenta and other presenters to hone in on what is most needed,” Bowling said. “As NCGA president, I am excited to see new leaders who want to take on an active role in the association. When these volunteers come together, you can feel their commitment to the industry. It is heartening to know that such strong farmer leaders will carry on our mission well into the future.”

This year’s Leadership at Its Best Class includes: Aron Carlson (Ill.); Aaron Frank (Colo.); Jeremiah Freidel (S.D.); John Greer (Neb.); Lynn Greer (Neb.); Kirby Hettver (Minn.); Kurt Hora (Iowa); Shane Kinne (Mo.); Larry Klever (Iowa); Fred Miller (Ohio); Guy Mills Jr. (Neb.); Doug Rebout (Wis.); Dirk Rice (Ill.); and Keith Truckor (Ohio).

Open to all NCGA membership, Leadership at Its Best provides training to interested volunteers of all skill levels.  The second session, which will be held this January in Washington, addresses public policy issues, working with the Hill and parliamentary procedure.  Through this program, participants build the skill set needed to become a more confident public speaker with a solid background in the procedures and processes used by NCGA and many state organizations.

Since 1986, the National Corn Growers Association, the state corn associations and, most importantly, the U.S. corn industry, have benefited tremendously from the Syngenta co-sponsored Leadership At Its Best Program.  Participants must be registered members of NCGA.

This summer we have traveled to different locations to promote the use of ethanol at the races.  First stop was at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction. Next, we headed to I-80 Speedway near Greenwood; and then onto Dawson County Raceway in Lexington.  At these two races we were joined by the American Ethanol Show Car and the Biofuels Mobile Education Trailer.  It was enjoyable to see people interacting and learning about the ethanol.

Our last race is Friday, August  7th at Beatrice Speedway.  It’s kids night so bring the whole family and get ready to have some fun.

The 5th Annual Corn Grower Open was on Wednesday, July 29th at the Meadowlark Hills Golf Course in Kearney, Nebraska.  We enjoyed the beautiful weather and had  fun golfing with fellow corn growers and member from the industry.  With all the support we recieved for this event, we were able to raise over $1,000 to donate the Food Banks in Lincoln and Kearney. We wrapped up the day with a prime rib dinner.

Thank you to our sponsors and corn grower members for taking time out of your busy summers to enjoy a day on the course!

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