Jon Doggett, National Corn Growers Association

(Jon Doggett) My name is Jon Doggett I’m the Executive Vice President of the National Corn Growers Association. I run the DC office for the Corn Growers. Was happy to be in Kansas and to be on the panel with two other gentlemen, one from wheat and one from sorghum and talking about the next Farm Bill, what we’re going to do to get ready to do another Farm Bill. (Kent Moore) My name is Kent Moore and I currently serve on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Corn Growers Association and also chair of the Kansas Corn Commission. My interest in being here at Commodity Classics today was to be a part of the preliminary discussions on what the next Farm Bill’s going to look like. (Jon) That probably is going to be a long, long process. But one of the things we’re doing is working with one another, making sure that all of agriculture, to the extent possible, stays together and sticks together to get this Farm Bill done. Talked about moving forward with other partners, folks in the nutrition community, the food stamp community. The conservation groups are really vital to getting a Farm Bill done. We talked about all of those things and the fact that agriculture has a great story to tell but we need to tell it with a lot of other folks. (Kent) Had a good opportunity to hear from those that advocate on our behalf at the federal level in Washington DC. (Jon) One of the things I think that happens in agriculture is we always–we talk as if everybody understands what we’re saying and we use a lot of acronyms. The thing that the American public is interested in, they want to know where their food comes from. They want to know what agriculture’s about. We need to give it to them in small bites that’ are understandable. We need to make sure that we connect with them where they live so that when we talk about the Farm Bill they understand what we’re talking about. (Kent) I think they brought up a lot of good points about the need for all commodity groups to try to find common ground and present a united front to the nation as a whole about the importance of the Farm Bill and food and nutrition programs that are a part of that. It’s definitely a challenging time but I also think it’s going to be an opportunity for agriculture to come together, I hope, and emphasize the role that agriculture plays in food security aspects and fuel security aspects. Also, I think it’s important to emphasize the role trade plays to agriculture and I don’t think there’s any question that any ag producer wants to get that dollar out of the market and not out of the local FSA office. (Jon) One of the most important things that farmers and ranchers can do is tell their story; how it affects their farm; how it affects their family; how it affects their community. We oftentimes talk about the macro picture and that’s important. But really if you want to connect with folks that are making decisions or helping other folks make decisions, you talk about your own personal story. Because we have a powerful story to tell, we just need to tell it. (Kent) I do think it’s important that people that are involved in agricultural policy and a state organization whether it be corn growers, or wheat growers, or sorghum, or soybeans, or whatever the commodity group might be. We’ve got to talk to our neighbors; one, just make them aware of the vital role that their voice can have in shaping policy. I think a lot of times people get discouraged about, “Well, my one voice or my one vote doesn’t count.” I think once you become involved in the process you become aware that your voice and your input and your vote does count. It counts a lot and I think that time and again when you’re involved in a statewide organization that goes to Topeka or a national one that goes to Washington DC those staffers, and those policy makers, and those elected representatives put a lot of credibility and value the input that they get from agriculture producers like myself and others.

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