NORMAL, Ill. — A fifth-generation farmer took the Illinois Corn Growers Association helm as president at its annual meeting.
Justin Durdan of Utica, who farms about 9,600 acres with his father, Doug, near Streator, was elected ICGA president for 2016-2017.
Durdan has served on the ICGA board for five years, most recently as vice president. He served as chair of the export and industrial committees. He is a member of the National Corn Growers Association Stewardship Action Team.
He will continue his role as District 5 director for the duration of his term as president, serving members in Grundy, Kankakee, LaSalle and Livingston counties.
The Durdans grow non-GMO corn, soybeans and some alfalfa on their farm. When he’s not in the field, Durdan manages the farm’s finances and landowner relations.
“When I first came on the board five years ago, I really didn’t know a whole lot about the ICGA. I’ve quickly found out that it is an organization that can get very focused on issues pertaining to specific topics,” Durdan said.
“That’s what separates us from a lot of different organizations or boards. We can get very narrowed in on water quality, farm bill and other things that really help out everybody in the community, but especially corn growers.”
Best Management Focus
Durdan believes the organization should continue promoting voluntary best management practices for growers.
“We really need to continue communicating about best management practices, just to move the needle and try split application of nitrogen, a cover crop or something like that to be proactive,” he said.
“We’ve already converted to all split application on our farm. Now where we’re looking at what’s the next thing we’re going to do on our farm to help manage nitrogen.”
Durdan also would like to see all of the commodity groups working well together.
“I think that’s something we need to work toward over the next year or two. When we go to D.C. or Springfield, we all need to have the same message,” he said.
Joining Durdan in leadership roles are Aron Carlson, Winnebago, vice president; Grant Noland, Decatur, treasurer; and Mike Homerding, Plainfield, secretary.
The Exports Committee will be led by Chairman Bill Leigh of Minonk and Vice Chairman Randy DeSutter of Woodhull.
Ted Mottaz of Elmwood and Vice Chairman Marty Marr, Jacksonville, were named to the Industrial Committee. Grassroots Committee leadership for the coming year are Chairman Jeff Jarboe of Loda and Vice Chairman Don Guinnip of Marshall.
ICGA members elected two new directors in this cycle.
For District 7, Bill Christ of Metamora will represent farmers in DeWitt, Macon, McLean, Moultrie, Piatt and Woodford counties. For District 13, Matt Rush of Fairfield will represent farmers in Clay, Edwards, Jefferson, Lawrence, Marion, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties.
Directors re-elected were Homerding, District 1; Leigh, District 4; and Marr, District 10.
Dennis Green of Lawrenceville will serve as interlocking director with the Illinois Farm Bureau. Newly elected at-large directors include Noland and Dave Rylander of Victoria.