Today, Off the Cob spoke with National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson on her outlook for corn growers in the new year.

Emphasizing the importance of grassroots action, Johnson called on farmers across the country to push for a new, five-year farm bill that protects crop insurance programs.

"When I think about 2013, I immediately think about how critical it is to get a farm bill passed that goes beyond just an extension," said Johnson. "We were disappointed that we could not get a farm bill through the House, up for debate and passed in 2012. We start this new year ready and willing to go back to the table with our commodity group partners and get what needs to be done done."

Johnson went on to stress that crop insurance is included in the farm bill legislation. Thus, as negotiations over a new bill progress, these important programs could experience budget cuts.

"I think many people overlook how important crop insurance is, but last year's drought highlighted its necessity for many farmers," she said. "The drought proved to us how important it is that we can explain why crop insurance is important to U.S. farmers not only to our representatives in Washington but also to consumers."

As president, Johnson strongly supports NCGA's work but reminds farmers that the association's grassroots nature requires each member to play an active role. By speaking together, they amplify one another's voices and increase the association's effectiveness exponentially.

"While NCGA does important work lobbying for farmers on the Hill and promoting their interests in the public sector, it is really just a shell game without the active support of our grassroots," said Johnson.