Corn growers in six Iowa crop reporting districts are encouraged to take time to vote on Tuesday, July 13 at Iowa State University Extension county offices to elect directors to the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. Elections this year are scheduled in districts 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9.
Iowa growers elect 17 of their peers to serve on the board to oversee the investment of funds generated by the Iowa corn checkoff. The board's primary activities include domestic and foreign market development, research into new and value-added corn uses, and education about the corn industry. One third of the seats on the board are up for election each year.
Anyone who has produced and marketed 250 bushels of corn or more in Iowa in the previous year can vote in the election. Farmers who are unable to visit an Extension office on July 13 may vote by absentee ballot. Absentee ballots were available until June 28 and must be postmarked by July 13.
Candidates for each crop district in Iowa include:
District 2 candidates:
* Chris Edgington, has been a corn and soybean farmer and pork producer for 26 years in Mitchell County.
* David Muth, is a corn and soybean farmer and pork and cattle producer from Butler County. He has been farming for 30 years.
District 3 candidates:
* Don Elsbernd, has been farming for 28 years in Allamakee County. He raises no-till corn and soybeans.
* Mark Mueller, raises corn, soybeans and tofu soybeans in Bremer County. He has been farming for 15 years.
District 4 candidates:
* Richard Malcom, is from Sac County and currently raises corn, soybeans, hogs and cattle. He has been farming for 30 years.
* Curt Schweers, is a 30-year corn and soybean farmer from Carroll County.
District 6 candidates:
* Bob Bowman, raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa, seed and specialty corn in Clinton County. His multi-generational farming operation includes his son Chris.
* Mark Heckman, raises corn and soybeans in partnership with his brothers and parents in Muscatine County. He has been farming with family for over 20 years.
District 7 candidates:
* Duane Aistrope, is from Fremont County and has been farming for 33 years. He currently raises corn and soybeans, and operates a cow/calf operation.
* Trevor Whipple, has been farming for eight years in Fremont County. He raises corn, soybeans, wheat and hay.
District 9 candidates:
* Mark Boshart, has been farming for 30 years in Henry County. He raises corn and soybeans, and has a turkey finishing operation.
* Dick Gallagher, grows corn and soybeans on a farm in Washington County. He has been farming for 36 years.
For more information on the ICPB or director elections, please contact the ICPB office at 515-225-9242.
A biographical backgrounder on all candidates follows below:
IOWA CORN PROMOTION BOARD
DIRECTOR ELECTION CANDIDATE BIOGRAPHIES
Chris Edgington, Mitchell County, is a graduate of Iowa State University and has been farming for 26 years. Edgington is a fourth generation farmer and farms in partnership with his father and brother. In his current operation, he raises corn and soybeans, and operates a swine finishing operation. He and his wife, Vanessa, have two children, Alex and Liz. He currently serves on the board for the Ag Ventures Alliance and Rural Development Partners. He is also a member of Iowa Corn's I-LEAD Class IV. Past activities include chairman of Golden Oval Eggs, Mitchell County Extension board, Mitchell County Pork Producers Board, and Iowa Pork Producer's Leadership Committee. He also serves as a church trustee. Chris believes in the importance of improving our grain markets domestically as well as our international exports.
David Muth, farms near Dougherty in Butler County. He has been farming for 30 years. In his current operation, he raises corn and soybeans, owns a hog finishing and cattle finishing operation. He has two children and will marry his fiancée, Brenda, in July. He currently is a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and serves on the Animal Ag and Environment Committee. He is vice president of the Coldwater Palmer Creek Watershed project and is also a member of the Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association. Muth is a graduate of the Iowa Corn Leadership Enhancement and Development program, class III. Muth also participates in the bus ministry for the Praise Community Church and serves on the Volunteer Fire Department in Dougherty.
Don Elsbernd, Allamakee County, is a graduate of Iowa State University and has been farming for 28 years. In his current operation, he raises no-till corn and soybeans. He and his wife, Trish, have three children, ages 24, 22 and 20. He currently serves as the president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. In his previous terms on the ICGA board, he has served on several committees, including Grassroots Network, Membership & Checkoff; the Industrial Usage & Production Committee; and the Budget Committee. Elsbernd is active in the Winneshiek County Corn/Soybean Association. He also serves as chairman of the Growers National Co-op board. Other activities include Food Resources Bank growing projects in Winneshiek and Allamakee counties. He belongs to the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and the Iowa Soybean Association and is an active member of St. Benedict's Church. Don has been a part of Iowa Corn for eight years. He understands the need to continue to expand the usage of our ever increasing corn crop, specifically by expanding the use of ethanol and expanding export markets.
Mark Mueller farms near Waverly in Bremer County, raising corn, soybeans and tofu soybeans for the Japanese market. He has been farming for 15 years.
He is a past president of the Bremer County Corn & Soybean Growers and a member of ICGA's Industrial Usage & U.S. Production Committee. He is on the Bremer County Farm Bureau board, is past president of the Northeast Iowa Ag Experimental Association and is a director of the Greene Bean Project.
Mueller earned degrees in agronomy and ag business from ISU and is a graduate of the Iowa Corn Leadership Development Program (I-LEAD) and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (Leadership Iowa program). He has served as a member of the ISU Extension board for Bremer County and has worked in seed sales, seed research and seed production. Mark and his wife, Jeri, have two daughters.
Richard Malcom, Sac County has been farming for 30 years. In his current operation, he raises corn and soybeans, and custom feeds hogs and cattle. He and his wife, Karen, have two children, Marcus and Jenna, and a daughter-in-law, Khara. He currently is a leader with the Sac County Corn Growers, is a member of Sac County Farm Bureau and is a Cook Township Trustee. He is also a member of the Iowa Soybean Association. Malcom is a member of St. Paul's Lutheran church in Schaller and has served numerous positions within the church. Richard believes that Iowa Corn farmers have the ability to produce a tremendous amount of corn and we need to work to expand our export markets for corn.
Curt Schweers farms near Arcadia in Carroll County, where he raises corn and soybeans and owns a trucking business. He has been farming for 30 years.
He is a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, and a number of grain and fertilizer cooperatives. He currently serves on Iowa Corn's Industrial Usage & Production Committee and the Voucher Review committee. Schweers has served 15 years on the board of directors of the Farmers Cooperative elevator at Arcadia and eight years as the board's president.
His non-farm activities include service with his local volunteer fire department and as a township trustee. Curt and his wife, Lynette, have three children.
Bob Bowman raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa, seed and specialty corn near DeWitt in Clinton County and has been involved in pork production. His farming operation is multi-generational and currently includes his son Chris.
Bowman has been actively involved in a number of ag organizations. He is a past president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA), and served on the ICGA Board of Directors for nine years. He currently is a member of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Biotechnology Working Group, and serves on the ICGA Exports & Grain Trade Committee. Additional prior committee work includes chair of the joint NCGA/U.S. Grains Council Trade Action Team, member of NCGA Public Policy Action Team, and NCGA Mycotoxin Task Force.
Bob is a member of the Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Farm Bureau. He served as president of the Clinton County Farm Bureau and as chair of the Clinton-Jackson County Corn Growers Association. Bowman graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in agricultural business and worked at Clinton Corn Processing (now ADM) before returning to farming. Bob and his wife, Jean, have four grown children.
Mark Heckman raises corn and soybeans in partnership with his brothers and parents near West Liberty in Muscatine County. He has been farming with his family for over 20 years. Heckman served as an ex-officio director on the Iowa Corn Promotion Board prior to serving his first term for district 6 and is currently serving on the ICPB's Utilization and Production Committee as a grassroots representative. He is a graduate of the second class of the Iowa Corn Leadership Enhancement and Development Program (I-LEAD) and is a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association.
In addition to production agriculture, Heckman is the Commodity Manager for Big River Resources, LLC. in West Burlington, Iowa. He oversees and coordinates the risk position for the company's three ethanol facilities and two country elevators. Heckman is a graduate of Iowa State University and is active with family activities, enjoys hunting and outdoor activities. Mark and his wife, Rhonda, have five children ages 11 through 23.
Duane Aistrope, Fremont County, is a graduate of Iowa Western Community College and has been farming for 33 years. He raises corn and soybeans, and runs a cow/calf operation. He and his wife, Roberta, have three children.
He is a member of the Fremont County Corn and Soybean Growers and Iowa Farm Bureau. He also has been on the FSA County Committee for 26 years, a township trustee for 16 years and a 4-H leader for 20 years. Aistrope has served in leadership positions in the Fremont County Farm Bureau including president and vice-president. He has also served on the Fremont County Fair Board. Duane wants to help in promoting the increased usage of corn-ethanol in Iowa and help to identify more uses for corn through exports, plastics, and DDGs.
Trevor Whipple farms near Shenandoah in Fremont County, raising corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. He also does custom construction work (land grading). He has been farming independently for eight years. He is a member of the Iowa Corn Growers Association and Iowa Farm Bureau and serves on the Fremont County FSA county committee. He is a past president of the Fremont County Farm Bureau, a graduate of the ICPB's second I-LEAD leadership development class and he currently serves as a grassroots member of the ICPB's Export & Grain Trade Committee.
Whipple also serves as an adviser to the Sidney, Iowa, Rodeo Board and is on the nominating committee for the Fremont County Extension Board. He is a graduate of Southeast Community College in Milford, Neb.
Mark Boshart, lives in Henry County, raises corn and soybeans, and has a turkey finishing operation. He has been farming for 30 years. He is a partner in Boshart & Son, a farm partnership with his family and is a co-owner and manager of Boshart Sales, Inc., a family-owned business supplying producers with seed, herbicide and crop consulting services. He's a member of Iowa Turkey Federation, Iowa Turkey Growers Cooperative, AgriWay Partners, LLC, Big River Resources LLC, Iowa Renewable Energy, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, and is a life member of ISU's Southeast Iowa Research Farm. Mark is a member of Sugar Creek Mennonite Church, a director on the Wayland State Bank board, and a board member of Parkview Retirement Home. Mark and wife Linda have two children.
Dick Gallagher, grows corn and soybeans on a farm near Washington in Washington County. He has been farming for 36 years. Dick currently is vice chair of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, serves on the Rest of the World Advisory Team with the U.S. Grains Council, and serves on the export and business development committees with Iowa Corn. His past activities include service as president of the Washington County Farm Bureau, president of the Iowa Soybean Association, and vice president of the American Soybean Association. Gallagher graduated from Colorado State University and from the Leadership Iowa Program and has served as president of the Washington Economic Development Group. He and wife, Jan, have a son and daughter. His son, Ryan, recently returned to the family farming operation.