Some people may not realize this, but both the Illinois Corn Growers Association Board of Directors and the Illinois Corn Marketing Board of Directors are composed of volunteers.
Our farmers are investing in the future of their business and ensuring there is a business climate that promotes agriculture by volunteering on our boards. They are leaving behind their farms, their livestock, their wives and families to spend countless days per year together working for the benefit of corn farmers everywhere.
They are not paid by a company for the time they spend with us, because they have no company to be paid by. They are just themselves, small businessmen who chose both a business and a lifestyle, and when they come to the Illinois Corn home office for a meeting they leave behind cows to feed, machinery to fix, and marketing decisions to be made.
Some of them come knowing very little about international markets, how crop insurance really works, or what’s going on in Washington, DC. But they learn. They sign up to have their inboxes filled with emails and to spend countless nights reading reports and fact sheets about these and hundreds of other topics.
Our board members see the future of their industry and make decisions that they feel will make it better. They develop camaraderie because it’s a tough business with a gamble to be made, but they leave the office knowing they have just made the best decisions they could for their children and grandchildren.
ICMB and ICGA board members are volunteers and on this Volunteer Recognition Day, I want to let them all know how much we appreciate them. They are full of enthusiasm and spunk, they offer friendship when warranted, and they understand how to get down to business. We understand their sacrifice and we appreciate every minute they give to the industry we are trying to serve.
I love corn farmers.