White Cloud farmer Ken McCauley, received the Jay B. Dillingham Award for Agricultural Leadership and Excellence, becoming the second Kansas Corn leader to earn the honor. McCauley, who is president of the Kansas Corn Growers Association (KCGA), received the award from the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City along with Glen Klippenstein, Maysville, MO and Dr. Thomas Payne, University of Missouri at a luncheon last week.
In addition to crediting his family for guidance and support, McCauley also recognized retired KCGA Executive Director Jere White. White was honored as a Dillingham Award recipient in 2014.
“It’s always an honor to have one of the leaders of your organization selected for a prestigious award like the Dillingham Award,” Kansas Corn CEO Greg Krissek said. “Kansas Corn is doubly honored to have Ken receive the award this year and Jere White as a recipient in 2014. Both have been impactful ag leaders in Kansas as well as on the national scene.”
McCauley is a past-president of the National Corn Growers Association, serving in 2006-07. During his tenure, McCauley was instrumental in the passage of the 2007 Renewable Fuels Standard and the 2008 Farm Bill.
McCauley said over the last 20 years, a dramatic increase in corn yields and production led to growth for corn through tools like the Renewable Fuels Standard which provided market access for ethanol.
“We put in a renewable fuels standard and created more demand for our corn and also put more money in the pockets of people handling corn and supplying products,” McCauley said.
The revenue-based tools created in the 2008 Farm Bill were groundbreaking and still work today, he said. Agriculture groups will need to work together for the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill.
“If agriculture could come up with something that’s acceptable across the board, not necessarily just to help individual commodities, we could benefit a lot more,” McCauley said.
McCauley said agriculture is making good use of social media and other methods to reach consumers. Farmers and others in agriculture must continue to have a united voice as advocates and help consumers understand the work that farmers do to produce bountiful and sustainable crops, he said.
The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City is an association that advocates growth and awareness of the food, fiber, agri-science and related industries in the Kansas City region.
The Kansas Corn Growers Association is a member-driven organization that advocates for corn and represents corn farmers in legislative and regulatory issues.