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Growing next generation

By Staff | Dec 2, 2010

The 13 members of the Iowa Corn Student Advisory Team pose with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, front row, center; plus representatives from the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, Iowa Corn Growers Association.

President John Quincy Adams noted that if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

Nearly two centuries later, his words still ring true for the 13 Iowa college students from a wide range of backgrounds who have been named to the inaugural Iowa Corn Student Advisory Team, which held its first meeting recently in Johnston.

“I have a passion for agriculture, and I jumped at this outstanding opportunity to get involved with an organization that has such a positive impact on Iowa agriculture,” said Andrew Lauver, 20, from Lake City, who is majoring in agricultural studies with minors in general business and agronomy at Iowa State University.

“I love it when I have a chance to talk to someone who may want to know more about Iowa’s farming practices.

“My hope is that after our conversation, they will walk away feeling good about Iowa’s future in agriculture.”

Sponsored by the Iowa Corn Growers Association and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, the SAT will help develop programs that target and enhance ICPB’s relationship with individuals who are pursuing careers in Iowa’s agriculture industry.

SAT participants, who were chosen through an application and selection process, include Kevin Buckallew, Indian Hills Community College; Carly Cummings, ISU; Alex Edgington, North Iowa Area Community College; Ryan England, Southwestern Community College; Alyssa Foster, Kirkwood Community College; Beth Irlbeck, Des Moines Area Community College; Andrew Lauver, ISU; Logan Lyon, Ellsworth Community College; Steve Roose, Iowa Central Community College; Kesler Schlmeister, Hawkeye Community College; Traci Tiernan, ISU; Thomas Wacker, Northeast Iowa Community College; and Charlie White, ISU.

“We are very excited for the inaugural Iowa Corn SAT,” said Doug Holliday, an ICGA director from southwest Iowa who chairs the committee that oversees the program.

“These outstanding, enthusiastic young leaders are the movers and shakers who represent the future of agriculture, and we look forward to working with them.”

Common goals

The SAT is similar to ICPB’s I-LEAD program, which was created in 2002 to provide a resource for talented people who want to contribute to a better future for Iowa’s communities and the long-term profitability of agriculture in Iowa.

While I-LEAD is a two-year program for ag professionals, the year-long SAT is designed to help young adults learn the personal skills necessary to work effectively as a leader and become student ambassadors for Iowa agriculture on their college campuses.

SAT participants will be invited to participate in ICPB’s regular board meetings and committee meetings to develop a working knowledge of the ICGA and ICPB.

They will also be introduced to leaders in other key organizations in Iowa agriculture, in addition to expanding their understanding of Iowa’s place in the global ag economy.

“At our first meeting we discussed that often it’s the people who show up who succeed,” said Alex Edgington, 23, a NIACC agriculture management major from St. Ansgar who plans to farm after graduation.

“In the SAT, we’re like-minded people with similar goals, and we’re looking forward to working together with the leaders at Iowa Corn.”

In addition to networking with their peers and ICPB leaders, SAT members will have other opportunities to connect with ag leaders and elected officials at various upcoming meetings, including the National Corn Growers Association’s annual Corn Congress, which will be held in the summer of 2011 in Washington, D.C.

“While we want to help these students take their first steps to get involved with Iowa Corn, we also want to give them the leadership skills that they can use in a variety of settings, from clubs on campus to their local church and community organizations,” said Dick Gallagher, a farmer from Washington County who chairs the ICPB. “I know we’ll see these talented young adults serving in various leadership roles in agriculture in the years to come.”

The SAT members look forward to the challenge. “I’m very excited to enter the ever-changing world of agriculture and the things I’m learning through the SAT will help me capitalize on the opportunities that will be available to me in my career,” said Lauver, who is interested in working for a seed company.

“It’s much easier to accomplish things when you work together with your neighbors and fellow farmers, and it’s also easier to problem solve when you have a lot of people working together to accomplish similar goals.”

You can contact Darcy Dougherty Maulsby at yettergirl@yahoo.com.

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