Aug 30, 2013 - Thurman Gaskill, retired farmer from Corwith and retired Iowa State Senator, received the Iowa Corn Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, Aug. 24 at the Iowa Corn Growers Association Annual meeting.
"In many different leadership positions, Thurman Gaskill has touched farmers around the globe," said Craig Floss, Iowa Corn CEO. "We thank him for his many contributions to agriculture."
Gaskill served as president of the National and Iowa Corn Growers Associations, chairman of the U.S. Feed Grains Council and an agricultural advisor to presidential campaigns. He retired from the Iowa Senate in 2008.
In the late 1960s, Governor Robert Ray appointed Gaskill to the Iowa Development Commission where he served as vice chair of the Ag Promotion Board. In the early 1970s, Gaskill was involved with the Agriculture Council of America and traveled to U.S. media centers to speak on the importance of food production.
Also in the early 1970s as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Board, Gaskill worked to help build NCGA membership. He first focused on revamping the Iowa Corn Growers Association, increasing membership and encouraging other farm groups to work with the corn growers on important issues.
Gaskill was also active in the U.S. Feed Grains Council which sought to develop overseas markets in Asia and Europe. Funding in this situation was tight. Under Gaskill's leadership, he sought the interest of corn farmers in the state to see if they would be interested in a corn checkoff program. This led to a referendum in 1977. The referendum passed and Iowa became the first state to establish funding to promote corn export programs via the U.S. Feed Grains Council.
"The corn industry and our state has benefitted greatly by Gaskill's work and dedication," said Floss. "We are proud to honor him for his years of service."
The Iowa Corn Lifetime Achievement Award is given in recognition of outstanding service and commitment to advance the corn industry and keep the industry cutting edge through technology, political action and time devoted to the Iowa corn industry. Thurman Gaskill is the third recipient of this award.
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