Leadership and Learning for our Future
I sometimes wonder how we can pack any more meetings into our winters, but in all honesty, I look forward to the times that I can fellowship with other farmers, learn the latest agronomy and marketing tips, and honor those that move our industry forward.
The 25th Annual Kentucky Commodity Conference, which was held in January, is a great example of how Kentucky grain farmers and agribusiness industry professionals come together for leadership and learning. Not only did we hear some outstanding speakers, but we were able to share our accomplishments from the previous year; 2018 focused on growing local and global markets and investing in agronomic research, two areas that should have the most impact in our current farm economy. Please take a look at our accomplishments in this year’s annual report.
In addition, we tried to make the 25th conference a special occasion by inviting and recognizing all the farmers who have served as president of KyCorn since our incorporation in 1982. It was a true honor standing among those men.
We also welcomed a few new board members and thanked others for their service. Philip McCoun, former KyCorn president and KyCorn Promotion Council chairman from Shelbyville, stepped off the Promotion Council at the end of December, passing the torch to others who want to lead our industry, which leads me to invite our younger farmers to participate in the next class of the KyCorn CORE Farmer Program.
CORE stands for Crop Observation and Research Education, and our goal is to provide the best agronomic-based educational program for Kentucky corn farmers while discovering who has the potential to lead our organization in the future. The CORE Farmer Program began in January 2010, and since its inception, more than 60 young farmers have completed the curriculum. We are now taking applications for Class V. Information can be found here.
Finally, I wanted to note that part of the leadership process is learning how to best serve your members. This summer, we completed a new strategic plan to direct our programs for the next decade. This plan will not only serve our current members, but hopefully the next generation of farmers. In order to evaluate the results of our efforts, we need to hear from our members and other Kentucky corn growers. At this month’s National Farm Machinery Show, we will be asking our farmers to complete a short grower survey. I encourage you to stop by the booth in the Pavilion to complete the survey and talk with our farmer leaders about how they can best serve your interest. If you can’t join us in Louisville, we will be mailing the survey to all our members following the show.
In the meantime, I pray you have a productive season of meetings, seminars, and preparing for this year’s crop.
Planning for Future: KyCOrn Develops a Strategic plan
We realized last year that it had been a while since our leaders completed a strategic plan to set the course of our work and how we serve our farmer members for the next several years.
Last summer, we met with Dr. Steve Isaacs from the University of Kentucky to reevaluate our vision, mission, and strategic goals.
One word that continued to rise to the top of our discussions was sustainability. We realized that we need to work on several fronts to sustain this industry in the midst of low prices.
From policy, creating market demand, and investing in research and our future leaders, it will take us all to ensure a bright future for our corn farmers. I am happy with the plan we have to set before you, and I hope you continue to stay engaged in our organization by filling out the grower survey or contacting us once in a while to let us know how we are doing.
Sustainably feed and fuel a growing world
Develop and enhance a sustainable environment for Kentucky Corn Growers
•Improve markets and demand
•Strengthen consumer trust for products and practices
•Invest in research for economically and environmentally sustainable production
•Advance leadership and membership to provide a voice for Kentucky Corn Growers