Eight corn growers from around the country have been nominated for election to the National Corn Growers Association's Corn Board for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. New board members will be elected by state delegates at the Corn Congress this July in Washington.
"We appreciate the interest and dedication of the corn farmers who want to be active in our association and help lead it," said Garry Niemeyer, NCGA chairman and chair of the nominating committee. "We once again have a great slate of candidates that will serve our industry well. We wish them all the best and thank them for getting involved."
Those nominated are, in alphabetical order:
Wesley Spurlock, Stratford, Texas. Spurlock is a current board member running for reelection and is a director of the Corn Producers Association of Texas and his state's checkoff board. He farms irrigated corn, cotton, wheat and grain sorghum in the upper Texas panhandle while also running his own harvesting and spray company and equipment sales and welding shop.
Ronnie Burleson, Richfield, N.C. Burleson grows corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton in North Carolina with his son, brother and nephew. Together, they also raise beef cattle and operate a family-owned cotton gin. He is president of the Corn Growers Association of North Carolina and a director of the North Carolina Farm Bureau.
Rob Elliott, Cameron, Ill. Elliott is running for reelection to the board. A past president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, he farms with two brothers and a nephew in west central Illinois, where they raise corn and soybeans. They also have run a full-service seed business for more than 30 years.
Jon Holzfaster, Paxton, Neb. A current Corn Board member, Holzfaster owns and operates the same farm in southwest Nebraska that his family has run for three generations. They produce corn, popcorn, soybeans, dry edible beans, wheat and alfalfa. His family also operates a non-commercial feedyard that utilizes feed produced on the farm.
David Howell, Middletown, Ind. A member of NCGA's Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team, Howell is also a director of his state corn growers association and marketing board. He operates a first-generation family farm, which he founded with his wife. Along with their two sons, they grow corn and soybeans as well as processing tomatoes and pumpkins marketed to major retailers nationwide.
Kevin Ross, Minden, Iowa. A former president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Ross is a sixth-generation family farmer in southwestern Iowa. Along with his wife, Sara, he grows corn, soybeans, alfalfa and runs a cow/calf operation. Growing corn almost exclusively using no-till methods, they hope to someday pass the farm on to their two young sons.
Gary Schmalshof, Adair, Ill. Schmalshof is a former chairman of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board and has served on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Grains Council. He farms with his wife, Theresa, and their two sons, with whom he also runs a trucking and seed business as well as a crop insurance agency.
Paul Taylor, Esmond, Ill. Taylor is vice chair of NCGA's Ethanol Committee and president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association. He continues a farming tradition on land which has been in his family for nearly 100 years. There, he raises corn, seed corn, food-grade non-GMO soybeans and canning vegetables for Del Monte, including sweet corn, lima beans and green peas.
More information about these candidates will be released in the Nominating Committee Report at the upcoming NCGA Corn Congress, to be held Feb. 28 and March 2 at Commodity Classic in Kissimmee, Fla.