By Doug Graves
EDISON, Ohio – John Linder, of Edison, along with his brother, Mike, and wife, Cheryl, runs a fifth-generation farm raising corn, soybeans, soft red winter wheat and soybeans for seed in the central part of the state.
Linder’s list of daily duties just got much larger, as he was appointed president of the Corn Board of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) on Oct. 1.
“It’s larger than life to represent 300,000 corn growers and that impacts my thoughts every day,” Linder said. He succeeds Minden, Iowa, farmer Kevin Ross, who is now NCGA chairman.
When asked about his top three priorities for the NCGA, Linder said, “expanding market access for corn, increasing sales of higher ethanol blends and helping the industry recover and grow.”
Linder said that under his leadership the NCGA will continue to focus on renewable fuels, trade agreements and research.
“We at the NCGA have a strategic plan and probably the premier goal on that plan right now is demand,” Linder said. “How could you name anything different in the current environment for which COVID has put us into? It’s sure fun to see the markets responding to the latest USDA report that suggests our stocks are stepping down a bit as we make these great sales. As one of my goals, I will do everything in my power to help our industry recover and grow. I want to make sure the national board is on track with looking at everything as NCGA rolls out a recovery plan to everyone’s benefit.”
Linder previously served as the Corn Board liaison to the Market Access Action Team, on the Resolutions Committee and chaired the Finance and Engaging Members committees. Additionally, he represented NCGA at the National Coalition for Food and Agriculture Research and the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center. Prior to his election to the Corn Board, Linder chaired the Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team.
“The board will be engaged in this process,” he said. “I’d like for a lot of people to get to know the board a little bit. I plan on getting them out there and into the countryside, which is kind of difficult in this current environment, so maybe some different types of formats for that to take place. Still, we need to give board members the opportunity to get face-to-face with growers from the states that represent us.”
With seven NCGA action teams and new board appointments, Linder is prepared to tackle his position head-on.
“There is a monumental task ahead and I’m quite ready for it,” Linder said. “My goal is to engage with every activity that we have and be a part of it. There is a lot to look forward to. My pledge is there will be no stone left unturned in our effort to create opportunities for our industry to recover and grow beyond the current situation. Our road to recovery has multiple paths and in the short term we are working on our recovery plan with representatives of our value chain that’s designed to set the table for some of the long-term opportunities.”
In addition to traditional row crop farming, Linder also has livestock experience.