As we move forward, it is important to build upon these successes with knowledge of, and respect for, the tools that brought them about. It can be easy to forget that you worked as a team when you are heady from a recent victory, but it is critical in order to sustain that level of performance. The partnerships that have helped our industry over the past year can help it for years to come so long as we remember that we all have similar end goals and are willing to put aside minor disagreements to meet them.

There are still issues to face and they will require that corn growers form new alliances and coalitions to address them with a strong voice. NCGA’s members do not only grow corn, as farmers we grow soybeans, sorghum, alfalfa, wheat and many other crops. We run livestock operations of many kinds. It is in our own best interest to ally with other groups that specialize in these areas. As farmers, our similarities truly do outweigh our differences. By forming a unified front for agriculture as a whole, we can tell our story, fight attacks from those who would undermine the very hands that feed them and effectively promote legislative and regulatory environments that understand the science behind modern ag.

As I take on a new role in the organization, I want to thank the farmers I have met across the country during my term as president. Working toward the good of the industry, I have met and interacted with people who have broadened my outlook, deepened my understanding, and inspired me. This is what I will take with me.

I have made life-long friends, people whose families have become a part of my own — and I of theirs. It has been a formative experience. I honestly believe that in my service I have gotten back everything I gave, and often more.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve as president.