Pott. County’s Kevin Ross has his hand in lots of operations including having served as the President of the National Corn Growers Association last year! Kevin just completed his term as the President and will go off of the Board in October, but the board is only a piece of all that Kevin does. He and his wife Sara, own and operate a 120-head cow-calf business outside Minden (and one in Nebraska), raise their own corn, soybeans, and alfalfa, custom harvest, and sell insurance through The Home Agency in McClelland. Plus, if that weren’t enough, they have four sons, Hudson (5th), Axen (2nd), Carver & Hollis (preschool) and they ,along with The Pott. County Corn and Soybean Growers, run Underwood’s Annual 4th of July parade every year! Add in that Kevin is getting his MBA at Iowa State and serves on the Western Iowa Energy – Biodiesel Board, and I can’t even fathom how they (the whole family chips in) manage everything!
That being said, it all started when Kevin’s cousin, Iowa Representative David Sieck, encouraged him to join the Iowa Corn Growers as a member and put him on the membership committee. Little did he know it would take him to the Commodity Classic in California where he’d meet his wife, Sara, and corn, ethanol, and the biodiesel field would become his calling.
With a need to communicate information to farmers and be an expert on the agricultural industry when dealing with the U.S. Congress, the US Meat Export Federation, or the US Grains Council, Mr. Ross’ broad knowledge base has been of utmost importance. Kevin spoke about the amount of “behind the scenes” work that has to take place and the policy that has to be developed and written in order for the organization to succeed. He hopes that people realize their check-off dollars go into research, promotion, and education all geared towards advancing the agricultural industry. His role on the National Corn Growers means he must work with all political parties, global organizations, and industry partners. Ross mentioned that he had to develop the ability to think broadly on behalf of an entire industry in order to fulfill his duties. Kevin said it was a great honor to put all of his hats into play as he represented his home area, corn, ethanol, and biodiesel at the Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE) plant presentation with President Trump in June of 2019. In fact, as we go to press, it was just announced that Ross will serve as a new director on the SIRE Ethanol Plant Board of Directors, a 140M gallon-per-year plant located just south of Council Bluffs.
As Kevin looks back on his time as President of a national organization, he’s proud of the advancement and continued elevation of the US corn industry and NCGA. He also said he truly hopes he made a difference for the US corn producer.
At the end of the day though, Ross says he is a farmer first.
Well, Kevin, Pott. Co. is glad to call you one of its own, and we may not know what the next chapter will bring, but I bet it will be big!