Young Farmer Business Development Program
Established in 2016 Kansas Corn Corps serves as young farmer business development program. In the program participants engage in networking, learn more about the corn industry and develop new business skills that will benefit their own operations in the future.
The program consists of four sessions that take place over a 16-month period. Three of the four sessions take place in Kansas and one takes place outside of Kansas. These sessions are on the weekends to accommodate for work schedules, except for the domestic trip.
Corn Corps has three main focus areas:
- You: How do you fit into your farm and move forward as an individual?
- Your Farm: How does your farm fit into the industry and continue to be successful?
- Your Industry: What opportunities and hurdles will the corn industry face in the future and how can you move the corn industry forward?
Speakers at the sessions will challenge participants and push them to think critically. The topics related to the three focuses areas are set by the Kansas Corn team, but participants provide input. This is the participants’ opportunity to engage with the industry, learn new business skills; therefore it is a highly interactive participant-directed program.
Each Corn Corps class provides the opportunity for up to ten farms to participate.
Corn Corps Class 4 Application
Each Application must include the following to be considered:
- Completed application form with current KCGA membership
- Applicants must be involved in a corn-farming operation
- Three-year memberships are available for $110
- Two reference forms completed by non-family members
Must attend all 4 sessions, dates are set for Session 1 on December 6-8, 2019, tentative dates for Session 2 Jan 31-Feb 2, 2020 Session 3 trip (end of July, early August week set by group) and Session 4 January 8-10, 2021
Couples or individuals between the ages of 21-45 are encouraged to apply. For couples, you must each complete an application and each hold a KCGA membership. We realize some of the answers will be the same.
Completed applications including reference forms, must be submitted by September 30, 2019. Confirmation email will be sent when all necessary materials and forms are received.
Current Class- Class 3
The Kansas Corn Corps Class 3 participants are listed below with their names, farming operations and hometowns.
Thank you to Corn Corps Class 3 sponsor Farm Credit Associations of Kansas.
Kelby Adams Adams Farm Inc Macksville
Nicole Adams Adams Farm Inc Macksville, KS
Derek Belton Belton Farms Tampa, KS
Kylee Geffert Geffert Farms Inc Humboldt, KS
Shawn Geffert Geffert Farms Inc Humboldt, KS
Jay Ostmeyer Ostmeyer Family Farms Manhattan, KS
Hayes Kelman Kelman Farms Dodge City, KS
Shelby Kelman Kelman Farms Dodge City, KS
Jessica Simshauser Simhauser Farms Lakin, KS
Nathan Simhauser Simhauser Farms Lakin, KS
Matt Symns Symns Farms Atchison, KS
Stephanie Symns Symns Farms Atchison, KS
Corn Corps Graduates
Below you will find a list of those who graduated from the Corn Corps Program.
- David Allen, Smith Cattle Company, Sharon Springs, KS
- Alicia Allen, Smith Cattle Company, Sharon Springs, KS
- Ben Bellar, Bellar Farm Inc., Howard, KS
- Hayden Guetterman, Guetterman Brothers Family Farms, Bucyrus, KS
- Sarah Ellison, Marquette, KS
- Garrett Kennedy, Knopf Farms/ Tri-Valley Seed & Services, Gypsum, KS
- Arissa Kennedy, Knopf Farms/ Tri-Valley Seed & Services, Gypsum, KS
- Kyler Millershaski, MK Farms, Lakin, KS
- Chris Ostmeyer, Ostmeyer Family Farms, Park City, KS
- Tanner McNinch, McNinch Farms, Ness City, KS
- Krystale Neitzel, Bismark Farm, Lawrence, KS
- Lowell Neitzel, Bismark Farm, Lawrence, KS
- Brandon Heier, Haier Farms and Twin H. Cattle Company LLC, Grainfield, KS
- JD Hanna, Hanna Farms, Silver Lake, KS
- Matt Splitter, Splitter Farms, Lyons, KS
- Janna Splitter, Splitter Farms, Lyons, KS
- Geoff Burgess, Burgess Hill Farms, Sterling, KS
- Jenny Burgess, Burgess Hill Farms, Sterling, KS
- Coby Baalman, Baalman Farms, Menlo, KS
- Megan Baalman, Baalman Farms, Menlo, KS
We have moved to an all online application to simplify the process.
Please direct your references to this link to fill out the reference form.
No, all reference forms need to be completed by non-family members.
You can purchase a membership here. You can purchase either a three-year or one-year membership, but you will need to be an active member throughout the entire program. The three-year membership also provides the bonus of a free bag of seed.
Couples need to each fill out their own application. We realize some of the information will overlap pertaining to the farming operation.
A couple would need two memberships as each person is participating and contributing.
Participating farmers are responsible for getting themselves to and from the sessions, but the costs of food and accommodations are covered by Kansas Corn. This is also true for the Session 3 domestic trip, but they are just responsible for getting to the airport.
Kansas Corn team reviews applicants and references information to choose each class. Additional one-on-one follow up with applications will occur if necessary.
- Kyler Millershaski, Lakin
I‘m excited to meet the future challenges of our farm head-on. The education, experience and relationships gained through Corn Corps will help me be successful for many years to come.
- Krystale Neitzel, Lawrence
One of the topics we focused on in Corn Corps was improving our soft skills, such as conflict resolution and effective listening. We may not think we need to learn about these topics, but its critical for all families and farms.
- Matt Splitter, Lyons
Corn Corps helps you gain a wider perspective of how you fit into the big picture and how to move you and your farm forward.
- Arissa Kennedy, Gypsum
“I really enjoyed the fact that my husband and I were able to do this program together. Farming is a way of life and being able to grow and learn together within this leadership program is such a great opportunity.”
- Brandon Heier, Grainfield
I highly encourage farmers to apply for Corn Corps. Not just for the trips, but also for the knowledge you’ll gain. We evaluated parts of our own operation and learned how to work as a farm with different generations.
- Alicia Allen, Sharon Springs
“I think that being able to hear from other people that are on family farms or whatever kind of operation it might be is important, especially being able to hear about how other family dynamics are because we all experience challenges.”