Each year, highly qualified corn farmers from across the state are chosen by the governor to serve on the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan (CMPM) board of directors. In May, two board positions were appointed. After being nominated by their peers to have their names submitted for consideration, Governor Rick Snyder appointed one new corn farmer and reappointed another to fill two open positions on the CMPM board. They include:
- Randall Poll, of Hamilton, was reappointed for a second term to represent District 1, which includes Allegan, Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties. Poll is president of Poll Farms, where he farms more than 4,000 acres of crops. He is a 4-H leader, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality certified farm operator, and serves on the Heath Township Board of Review.
- John Burk, of Bay City, was appointed to replace Clark Gerstacker in representing District 8, which includes Bay, Gratiot, Midland and Saginaw counties. Burk, who has 25 years of farming experience, is owner of Burk Farms, where he farms 1,600 acres, and raises turkeys, chickens and pigs. Previously, he worked as an agricultural and natural resources educator at Michigan State University. Burk holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture technology and systems management and a master's degree in crop and soil sciences, both from MSU.
"Corn is one of Michigan's top commodities and is a vital part of our state's vibrant agriculture industry," Snyder says. "John and Randall are great selections for this committee and I am confident their service will effectively support the marketing program."
The CMPM, a check-off program established by Public Act 232 of 1965, allows for the establishment of check-off programs for commodities grown in Michigan and sold. Since its origin in 1993, one penny for every bushel of corn grown in Michigan and sold is used by the CMPM to promote the advancement of Michigan's corn industry through research, education, market development and new uses.
Appointees will serve three-year terms that expire March 5, 2015, and their appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.
"The board is looking forward to directing the CMPM throughout the next year, and having John and Randy's expertise and input will enhance our impact," says Pat Feldpausch, CMPM president and a corn farmer from Fowler. "During the next year, the organization will continue working to improve and boost traditional markets, while also seeking out new and innovative uses for Michigan's corn crop. Through the responsible decision-making and insight from our board, along with the hard work of the CMPM staff, we are looking forward to creating more opportunities for corn farmers while helping Michigan's economy. Michigan's corn industry adds more than two billion dollars to the state's economy annually, which is why the work of the CMPM is so important to our industry and our state."