December 11, 2012

Nebraska Corn Growers Association holds leadership program

The Nebraska Corn Growers Association recently held its two-day Leadership Development Program, which was attended by 40 corn farmers from across the state plus several other guests.

The organization said the purpose of the program is to give member-farmers the opportunity to develop their skills and gain insight into the best ways to be involved at the local, state and national level.

“This is important as a grassroots organization, as we need to develop leaders to contribute in different ways,” Carl Sousek, a farmer from Prague, Neb., and president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association said in a news release. “It’s also important for agriculture as a whole because the need to tell our story is greater than ever.”

Attendees at the leadership program heard from industry representatives about issues that are of importance to agriculture. They also learned different methods for advocating, setting goals and how they can make a positive difference on the future of agriculture.

Jon Doggett, vice president of public policy for the National Corn Growers Association’s Washington, D.C., office, told participants that he often sees firsthand how effective a citizen lobbyist can be in spreading the great story of agriculture to elected officials in Washington. He said the same is true with consumers, who want to hear direct from farmers, the ones raising their food and growing the corn that produces ethanol for their cars.

Details on the Nebraska legislature and its associated dynamics, as well as information on critical water issues and Nebraska’s animal agriculture industry were also presented.

“Once participants had this solid background, they worked with a grassroots consultant who explored ways Association members can actively engage in those issues,” Sousek said. “They then developed ideas and created an action plan that we will follow up with as time goes on.”

In the release, the Nebraska Corn Growers Association said it appreciated all the organizations who helped make this year’s leadership program a success, especially the sponsorship by the Nebraska Corn Board, which supports several leadership development programs each year.

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