It has been about thirty years since an Indiana farmer was a member of the national corn board, but not for a lack of trying. Dennis Maple of Howard County had a 2017 bid for that elected position which fell short, but he is back for another try this year. The announcement of candidates was made Tuesday at Commodity Classic.
“Indiana needs a voice on the board,” Maple told HAT. “It’s been a long time since Indiana has had representation on the national corn board, I think it was in the late ‘80’s. I’ve had a lot of people encourage me to run, whether it be state or national board members.”
Maple is a two-term past president of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council and is currently on the council as an at-large director. He is also the current chair of the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Productivity & Quality Action Team. After many years of service at the state level, Maple says he is ready for a board assignment with NCGA, an important voice for Indiana farmers.
“We’ve got a lot of issues right now with the RFS. We need to work to strengthen that. Corn is very important to the Indiana farmer and to the industry as a whole. We have a whole lot of ethanol plants that employ a lot of people, use a lot of corn. And just the whole soil health thing that the national stands for has been good. The congressional people listen to the national corn growers; we’re a pretty loud voice. Grassroots, and it’s pretty important for our industry.”
The election is in July and Maple has started campaigning here in Anaheim during Commodity Classic.
“I’ve been to some of the state caucuses to introduce myself,” he said. “It’s a lot about name recognition and being involved. Being chairman of the Corn Productivity & Quality Action Team helps. I’ll be up in front of the session this week giving our report for our action team. That gets you up in front so people get acquainted with you and what you do. Between now and July we’ll send letters and meet with people again as best we can.”
NCGA has 12 total corn board seats and members are elected to a 3-year term.