At a time when the nation’s most abundant crop is set to reach near records as corn producers begin harvest, today Darrin Ihnen of Hurley, S.D., takes the helm as president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). With unique challenges and exciting industry opportunities on the horizon, Ihnen will represent the nation’s corn farmers, reflecting his own South Dakota roots.
As NCGA president, Ihnen will be the voice for our nation’s corn farmers on countless topics of importance including policy, consumer awareness and production practices.
“Farmers are entering what is predicted to be a near-record harvest with record yields despite a very wet spring,” said Ihnen. “We need to continue our efforts to inform both the government and the public of how corn growers are increasing yields and decreasing inputs and land used. What we are doing as an industry is truly remarkable.”
In addition to his national post, Ihnen is a current board director for the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council (SDCUC). He also has served on the South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) and is a past president of that organization.
Ihnen’s involvement on the national scene has been building for years as he was vice president of the NCGA Corn Board in 2009; and he also served NCGA as a member of the Public Policy Action Team, Biotech Working Group and as the Corn Board liaison to the Ethanol Committee and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Ihnen is also a current member of the Sweetener Coalition and on the board of directors for Poet Chancellor in Chancellor, S.D.
Ihnen and his wife, Becky, farm corn, soybeans and wheat on their farm near Hurley. They also have a hog finishing operation and a cow/calf operation. He attended South Dakota State University where he studied agribusiness.
"It is an honor for South Dakota agriculture to have representation in such an influential capacity,” said Bill Chase, president of the SDCGA. “Darrin has earned the respect from his peers through his outstanding leadership, which has elevated him to this level. With his personal involvement in the ethanol industry as well as the livestock industry he is keenly aware of the diligence required to address the complexities of our multi-faceted industry. With increasing yields every year and a growing population worldwide, helping to develop the synergies and opportunities to meet those needs is a task Darrin is up for.”
Ihnen is the second South Dakotan to achieve national presidency in the NCGA. Lake Preston farmer Lynn Jensen held the position of NCGA president in 1999-2000.