Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association (OCWGA) won three awards at the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Awards Banquet at Commodity Classic in New Orleans. OCWGA was awarded the inaugural NCGA “Reaching for Excellence” award, highest percentage increase award and highest numeric membership increase award.
The growth in membership is a result of the creation of a young farmer membership program called The New Crop. OCWGA recruited over 800 students and young farmers, creating a 43% growth in membership.
“After years of traditional recruitment, our membership demographics only reflected the people who are currently working on the farm,” said Brad Moffitt, OCWGA director of Membership and Market Development. “But there are many more important people in our industry that need to join us. By recruiting millennials, who we define as 15- to 35-year olds, we immediately increased our quality, quantity and diversity.”
The New Crop is a sub-group of membership focused on preparing young adults and new professionals to be a part of a professional association. Through special communication, events and opportunities, students and young farmers learn more about the industry and how to be engaged with the issues that affect agriculture. A partnership with Beck’s Hybrids helped OCWGA get The New Crop off to a successful first year.
“We are excited and honored to receive this award,” said Chad Kemp, OCWGA president. “But we are more excited for how the newly energized and growing membership will strengthen our association. The New Crop is the future of the industry and their leadership provides great comfort to me as a farmer.”
The “Reaching for Excellence” award is presented to a state to spotlight new approaches and encourage implementation of such advances in other states facing similar challenges.