The National Corn Growers Association on Friday announced changes to strengthen the organization's efforts to build new corn market demand.
NCGA will begin an immediate search for a Vice President of Market Development, who will be responsible for managing marketing initiatives to build demand for ethanol, livestock feed, biobased products and food uses of corn.
Related: Looking for Corn Demand
"Farmers constantly work to increase yields using fewer resources," said NCGA CEO Chris Novak. "Looking to the future and continued productivity increases from our corn farmers, we need to be looking for new markets to create sustainable opportunities for today's farm families."
As a part of a restructure that brings greater focus on building corn demand, NCGA announced additional personnel changes:
• Fred Stemme is promoted to Vice President of Marketing and Operations as he takes over new management responsibilities;
• Paul Bertels will continue to serve the organization as Vice President of Production and Sustainability;
• Rodger Mansfield is stepping down after 19 years of service to the organization.
"Sustainable corn production is a major priority for food chain partners and consumers," Novak said. "NCGA's work with Field to Market and the new Soil Health Partnership both provide an important foundation for enhancing our sustainability.
"Bertels' background as a farmer, economist and conservationist makes him ideal to lead new efforts that can assist producers in meeting the expectations of our customers and consumers," Novak said.
NCGA President Chip Bowling, a Maryland corn farmer, said the organizational changes come at a critical time for corn farmers.
"As I talk to farmers across the country, they are concerned whether today's market prices will rise to cover the cost of production, whether they will have operating capital available, and what the future holds for their sons and daughters who may want to come back to the farm," Bowling said. "I believe that our renewed commitment to building corn demand and enhancing sustainability are the steps that are needed to help my fellow producers and me weather today's market challenges."
The announced changes will go into effect immediately.