Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council welcomes new officers July 1

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

At their June 16 meeting, the Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC) elected new officers. Those elected include: Jerry Ploehn of Alpha, Chair; Chad Willis of Willmar, Vice Chair; Richard Peterson of Mountain Lake, Treasurer; and Lori Feltis of Stewartville, Secretary. The new slate of officers becomes effective July 1.

Ploehn, who has served as vice chairman of MCR&PC this past year is excited to take the reins, pleased with the success of the immediate past chairman, Myron “Mickey” Peterson and thankful for the support of farmers across the state through participation in the check-off fund.

“I definitely want to tell the farmers out here a great big thank you for supporting the check-off and making our research and promotion projects possible,” said Ploehn who has farmed all his life in Alpha, Minnesota, in Jackson County. “I’m excited about some of the new ethanol promotion things we are working on, which should come to fruition soon, and I want to thank Mickey for the great job he did this year as chairman.”

Cooperation among farm and commodity groups will continue to be a focus, to make sure corn grower check-off dollars go as far as possible.

“We will be working with livestock groups to put projects together,” said Ploehn. “We will be working together with other commodity groups as we have in the past,
and working with the ethanol industry representatives as well—American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy—to promote blender pumps, and to get ethanol available in a lot  more states…. We have another seminar in August where we will be getting together with other commodity and livestock groups. The key thing is to find areas of common interest and common ground, where we can work together for the betterment of all.”

Ploehn noted that ideas for projects and promotions come from many sources—not only grower leaders and media relations firms, but also from the grassroots, from the farmer members themselves. Ploehn encouraged people to visit the MCR&PC booth at FarmFest to catch up on the latest research projects and advertising campaigns, and to offer any thoughts they have about ways to strengthen the market and the value of corn.

Ploehn’s leadership experience includes a term as president of Minnesota Corn Growers Association in the early 1990s, a previous term as chairman of MCR&PC four years ago, and continuing involvement in biotech issues leadership. He has served on the biotech action teams for both National Corn Growers Association, where the focus has been increasing farmer use and profitability in biotech corn varieties; and also for U.S. Grains Council (a position he still holds), where the focus is on gaining consumer acceptance among feed companies and the general public in overseas markets for biotech commodities. With nearly ten years experience on the MCR&PC, Ploehn has also worked closely with corn growers’ partner AURI, the state-sponsored Agricultural Utilization and Research Institute.

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