New board directors for the South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) were affirmed to serve on the board during the SDCGA Annual Meeting held in January.
Walt Bones of Chancellor, S.D. was selected to represent District 2 which includes the South Dakota counties of Lincoln and Turner. Bones replaces Darrin Ihnen of Hurley, S.D., on the SDCGA board, who served his allowed term.
Travis Mockler of Centerville, S.D., will represent District 1 and will serve the counties of Clay, Union and Yankton. Mockler fills the District 1 position held by Reid Jensen of Burbank, S.D., whose term had ended.
And Reed Mayberry of Brandon, S.D., Area Manager for Pioneer, will join the SDCGA board as an Industry Representative. Mayberry filled one of four industry rep spots, which was previously served by Rob Nelson.
The new directors will assist the SDCGA in its mission to increase the profitability of all South Dakota corn producers. The SDCGA’s goal is to make sure producers’ voice is heard by political leaders in Pierre and Washington.
“We’re pleased to welcome three individuals with outstanding leadership ability to our board of directors and we look forward to the contributions they will make for South Dakota corn producers,” said Lisa Richardson, SDCGA executive director.
New Director Bios:
Walt Bones – District 2
Walt Bones is engaged in a multi-faceted family farming enterprise near Chancellor, S.D.
Bones attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University in 1974 before returning to the family operation. The Bones ranch was homesteaded in 1879 and with partners including Walt’s brothers, a brother-in-law and three nephews, they encompass the fourth and fifth generations to work on the ranch.
Today the farming operation is highly diversified incorporating corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa for crops. Their grasslands are grazed by a commercial beef cow herd and they also operate a feed yard combining owned and custom fed cattle.
The Bones’ were instrumental in developing Turner County Dairy, a 1,900 head cow dairy, a cooperative effort between neighbors to bring a market for feedstock to their community. Their cooperative efforts with neighbors extend to a forage harvesting company, shared equipment purchases and a grain storage facility.
Their latest endeavor is Genesis Ethanol I, a 4 million gallon per year micro ethanol plant that has been built in partnership with Summit Green Energy.
Bones believes one of the biggest issues facing corn producers today is the need to demonstrate agriculture’s role in society.
“Today’s corn growers and their representative state organizations need to continue research, policy and market development programs that will continue to recognize the values we bring to our local and world markets with a minimum of governmental intrusions,” said Bones. “The decisions we make today will shape our future.”
In addition to the SDCGA board, Bones has the following affiliations: 2008 SD Property Tax Revision Advisory Committee; American Farm Bureau National Hay and Forage Committee; South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership program participant, board of directors and alumni association; Minnehaha County Planning and Zoning Board; South Dakota Hereford Association; South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association and past associate director for Country Pride Coop.
Walt and his wife, Jan, have three grown children.
Travis Mockler – District 1
Travis Mockler operates a diversified farming enterprise near Centerville, S.D. raising corn, soybean, alfalfa, and stock cows in addition to providing a custom haying service.
Mockler grew up on a dairy farm east of Vermillion, S.D. Following a couple of years of post-secondary education at Iowa Lakes Community College and South Dakota State University, Mockler returned to his hometown area and worked as a hired man for local producers for 10 years. He eventually developed an independent farming operation.
He believes the most important issue facing today’s corn producer is the cost of production, volatile markets and keeping end users.
In addition to his role on the SDCGA board, Mockler is involved with the Pleasant Valley and Dalesburg Dike Association and the UCY Pork Producers.
Mockler and his wife, Jill, have two daughters: Lacey and Kylie.
Reed Mayberry – Industry Rep
Reed Mayberry of Brandon, S.D., is an Area Manager with Pioneer, with responsibility for all Pioneer business in the state of South Dakota. His position, which he’s held since Oct. 1, 2008, oversees the company’s 87 agencies and 18 employees across the state dedicated to selling and servicing Pioneer products.
With a degree in Business Management from Dana College in Blair, Neb., Mayberry took a position with Bayer after graduation. As his career progressed with Bayer, he had the opportunity to move back to his home state of Nebraska to take a position with Monsanto, where he spent six years. He then joined POET as a Biomass Manager looking at ways that corn producers could sell other products derived from corn to ethanol plants for cellulosic ethanol. He worked in that field until taking his current position with Pioneer.
With his leading role in the industry, Mayberry believes one of the most important issues facing today’s corn producer is the time has come when the world will ask more from corn producers.
“We are going to call on them to not only feed but fuel our world. This is a challenge to every corn producer in South Dakota as we look forward to the opportunity of cellulosic ethanol and alternative energy become as common as feeding our corn today,” said Mayberry.
Mayberry and his wife, Angie, have two children: Avery and Ryley.