Farm Progress

Established in 1978, the board is the first corn checkoff approved in the U.S.

January 24, 2018

2 Min Read
NEXT 40: The Nebraska Corn Board says it’s not dwelling on past successes. "We're more focused on the next 40,” Chairman Dave Merrell says.

The Nebraska Corn Board is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Throughout its history, the state's corn checkoff has remained committed to its mission of promoting the value of corn by creating opportunities.

Instated in 1978 as part of the Corn Resources Act, the Nebraska corn checkoff was the first corn checkoff to be approved in the nation. The effort to pass the bill was led by Nebraska farmers — most notably members of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.

Although this is a milestone year for the checkoff, the board is not taking this as an opportunity to reflect on past accomplishments.

"We've achieved a lot throughout the corn checkoff's 40-year history in Nebraska, but we're not dwelling on past successes," says Dave Merrell, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. "We're more focused on the next 40. How do we build upon our successes with ag trade? What is the next ethanol? What's new in research and biotechnology? How do we better engage with consumers who don't understand where their food comes from? These are the questions we're actively working to answer."

To kick off its 40th year, the Nebraska Corn Board is releasing a special edition of its CornsTalk newsletter, which highlights significant accomplishments, and looks to the future in areas like research, new uses, biofuels, policy, education and consumer engagement. The 16-page publication will first be released as an insert included in the February edition of the Nebraska Farmer magazine and will then be distributed to weekly and daily newspapers in the state. A redesigned website will also be released in 2018.

"Nebraska's corn industry is a key economic driver for the state," says Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board. "Over the last four decades, Nebraska has been a national leader in many sectors in agricultural production, and much of that can be attributed to our state's farmers and the value-added corn industries that the corn checkoff has supported."

Over 60 farmer-directors have served on the nine-member board since the Nebraska Corn Board's inception in 1978. Board members represent eight districts across the state, and one director serves as an at-large member.

Source: Nebraska Corn Board

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