The South Dakota Corn organizations recently recognized directors who have served their allowed terms with the organization. The directors received awards during the South Dakota Corn Growers Association’s Annual Meeting held Jan. 10 in Sioux Falls.
Darrin Ihnen’s leadership in the corn industry has culminated to the national scene as he is president-elect of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). His leadership in the industry began with the South Dakota Corn Growers Association as a director in 1999. During his tenure, Ihnen served two years as the organization’s president.
Ihnen has been active on the biotechnology action team for NCGA and currently serves as a director on the NCGA Corn Board. While Darrin’s service to the SDCGA is coming to an end, he will continue to be involved in the South Dakota corn industry as he is a director for the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council. And he will hold national leadership as NCGA president in 2010. Ihnen and his family operate a diversified grain and livestock enterprise by Hurley, S.D.
Scott Sperry operates a diversified grain and livestock farm near Bath, S.D., and has served on the South Dakota Corn Growers Association Board of Directors since 2000. He has been a tireless volunteer for educational outreach at trade shows and fairs. Sperry believes in the importance of grassroots membership in the organization and has worked to increase membership numbers through recruitment outreach efforts. He has been very active on the Annual Meeting committee for the SDCGA, taking leadership in helping to develop the event over the years.
Jake Volkers has been a dedicated leader on the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council board of directors since 2001 and currently serves the organization as secretary. Promotion and education of producers has been a cornerstone of Volkers’ service on the SDCUC board. As chairman of the P&E committee, he led the outreach for ethanol promotion and education as well as support for educational seminars. He has also served as a delegate for the organization to NCGA’s Corn Congress and Commodity Classic. Volkers farms near Brookings, S.D.
Brent Rames joined the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council board in 2006 and brought a value added spirit to his activities for the organization. He has been active on the Market Development Committee for the SDCUC and in that capacity supported the establishment of a farm scale ethanol plant near Parker, S.D. He has also been involved with AgriCap decisions and development. He has traveled on behalf of the SDCUC board to conferences to gather information about ethanol and value added concepts. He has been farming since 1994 when he joined his dad on the family farm near Menno, S.D. There they grow corn and soybeans while operating a cow/calf enterprise and a small feedlot.
Robert Nelson of Sioux Falls, S.D., is an industry representative on the South Dakota Corn Growers Association board of directors, appointed in 2008. Industry reps offer tremendous value and insight to the decisions and efforts made for the industry, and Nelson has been a significant resource for the board. An Analytical Chemist by training, Nelson recently worked on the technologies that were responsible for sequencing the corn genome. He has spent most of his career in the processes of commercializing new technologies.