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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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – August 28, 2013 – Iowa Farm Bureau voting delegates shared concerns about infrastructure problems, regulatory implications, and watershed management as they gathered in West Des Moines August 27-28 to set state and national legislative policy. Water and soil conservation and country of origin labeling also topped their discussions.
“Over the last two days, our voting delegates discussed these priority issues and planned our course of action for 2014,” said IFBF President Craig Hill.
Iowa’s largest grassroots farm organization called for Watershed Management efforts to be established with balanced urban and agricultural representation from within that watershed, as members showed enthusiasm for conservation and improving Iowa’s soil and waterways. “Our Farm Bureau members are considering what they can do to make a difference on their farms and be visibly seen as leading the way towards progress in water quality,” Hill said. “After all, the overall goals of farmers and non-farmers have always been the same: to keep our soils strong and our water safe, and this is just one more way to assure progress in the field continues.”
Transportation infrastructure funding also found consensus among IFBF farmers. “It’s a continuous effort to fund road infrastructure to facilitate sustainability and growth,” said Hill. “This isn’t just an agricultural issue; this is an issue that affects all Iowans.”
Another lively discussion at the IFBF Summer Policy Conference concerning the national issue of country of origin labeling (COOL). “Trade compliance is very important to us, and we want to be a good trading partner,” said Hill. “IFBF members concluded that a mandatory COOL for meat harms open trade between the U.S. and our neighbors, and our members prefer a voluntary meat labeling program.”
The IFBF Summer Policy Conference is a step in Farm Bureau’s grassroots policy development process, which begins in the spring at the county level. The national policies will now be subject to debate during American Farm Bureau Federation policy discussions in January 2014 in San Antonio.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State agriculture officials say they are providing $1 million in funds to help farmers reduce runoff of fertilizer and manure from their fields and pastures.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says the department has received overwhelming
response to a program that shares the cost of installing systems designed to reduce erosion and runoff.
The $1 million announced Thursday brings the total funds for the program allocated to farmers this year to $2.8 million. The department received $3 million in one-time funding to support statewide water quality practices over the next five years.
Practices eligible for funding include cover crops that hold nitrogen in fields and no-till
or strip-till practices that reduce erosion.
So far more than 700 Iowa farmers have applied to participate in the program.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Another dry week has caused the condition of Iowa's corn and
soybean crops to slip backward.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday's report that 48 percent of the corn crop
is good or excellent, down 1 percentage point from the week before. Eighteen percent is poor or very poor, one point above the previous week. About a third of the crop is fair, the same as the previous week.
Soybeans retreated with 18 percent now rated poor or very poor. That's up three percentage
points from the week before. Corn pollination remains significantly behind normal.
Northwest Iowa may have the best looking crops in the state, however, as Joel DeJong, Iowa
State University extension crops specialist says there have been a lot of "hit and miss" in
terms of precipitation.
DeJong says the corn is entering the "dough" stage which means it is still at least a month
away from full maturity.
The crops specialist says soybean development has been making some nice progress.
Statewide average precipitation was less than half an inch while normal for the week is
nearly an inch. It was the sixth week of the past seven to bring less than normal rainfall.
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