Since 1976,

Hedlin Ag Enterprises has specialized in retained executive search for agribusinesses and agricultural associations throughout the United States. Why has it endured since founded by Larry Hedlin? It’s our philosophy and dedication to strive to be the best, not the biggest.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER – NATIONAL CORN GROWERS ASSOCIATION

Position Description

Chief Executive Officer

Organization Overview

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is a national organization representing the interests of corn growers, primarily family farmers of all sizes, in all 50 states.  NCGA includes nearly 40,000 dues-paying corn farmers in a co-membership arrangement with state grower associations and more than 300,000 growers who contribute to the NCGA through their participation in state corn check-off programs.  

The core guiding principles of the NCGA are its mission and vision:  create and increase opportunities for corn growers and sustainably feed and fuel a growing world

The primary value proposition of the NCGA to corn farmers includes:

  • Providing national leadership, a strong voice and representing corn growers’ priorities and concerns to policymakers, regulators, consumers, influencers, media, and other stakeholders
  • helping increase the market demand for corn through domestic and global initiatives focused on livestock, biofuels, global trade, and research
  • protecting the ability of corn farmers to effectively operate their farming businesses

The NCGA is somewhat unique among traditional national trade associations in that it is primarily funded through annual grant allocations provided by the state grower/check-off organizations rather than direct funding generated by national membership dues.  In addition, the majority of the NCGA annual program budgets are analyzed and approved by Action Teams, the membership of which is comprised of various state association grassroots leaders.  This funding and budget model enhances and ensures the grassroots influence of the state organizations to the NCGA which requires the NCGA CEO to have a significant focus on effectively managing the national-state relationships. 

Summary

The NCGA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the highest-ranking management employee of the organization and reports to the NCGA Board of Directors (Board).  The Board is elected by and responsible to state grower organizations.  The three-member NCGA Board Officer Team, consisting of the Chairman, President, and First Vice President, provides direction to the CEO, as appropriate.   

The ideal leader will understand how innovative agricultural practices help feed and fuel a growing world.  NCGA is open to leading the conversations on the future of agriculture and a CEO with agriculture, food or consumer experience is a plus.  The organization is looking for a CEO who will honor NCGA’s legacy while having an eye towards the future.      

Duties and Responsibilities

The primary role of the NCGA CEO is to:

  • work with the Board and the states to identify organizational priorities and develop both short-term and long-term strategy for the NCGA
  • implement the strategic direction set by the Board
  • collaborate with policy makers, stakeholders, and influencers to further NCGA’s priorities
  • support the Board’s activities to engage with members and respond to state grower organizations
  • ensure management and maintenance of the NCGA funder/investor (state and industry) relationship 
  • oversee effective execution of NCGA programs and initiatives
  • ensure the ongoing effectiveness and viability of the NCGA by recruiting, developing, and managing a dedicated staff, providing sound financial oversight, and prioritizing programs, initiatives and services are delivered to members
  • lead staff in the St. Louis and Washington, D.C.-based offices in a culture of high performance, attention to customers (state grower organizations), strong ethics, respect, and positive morale.  

Reports to:   NCGA Board of Directors

Attributes/Education/Experience

The successful candidate must demonstrate the ability to take in complex and potentially conflicting information, understand and communicate it, and build relationships with individuals.  If a candidate has communication, respect, and leadership at their core, the rest of the qualifications will flow naturally.  

The CEO will:

  • possess a thoughtful and measured leadership approach who will deliberate and socialize ideas before making decisions
  • articulate a vision set by the NCGA Board of Directors in a meaningful way to diverse stakeholders
  • communicate 360 degrees (up, down, across) appropriately providing information depending on the audience, including the willingness to have respectful but frank conversations when expectations are not being met
  • demonstrate they work well with all policy makers, stakeholders, and influencers across different sectors and industries curating opportunities for collaboration and creating advocates
  • exhibit the ability to have full and robust discussions taking in conflicting viewpoints and changing a course of action when appropriate (either personally or on behalf of the organization)  
  • be a relational leader who has successfully built and managed highly functional teams across different geographic locations, influencing employee adoption of new ways of working and new strategic objectives 
  • utilize a servant-leadership management style, as their core values align with a grass-roots organization allowing them to thrive working for a board who is elected from and responsible to state grower associations
  • have experience in the agricultural industry and on agricultural policy, with consumer and food experience considered a plus.
  • A bachelor’s degree is required and a Master’s degree is preferred.

Travel

Requires significant travel, both national and international.  Must have a valid passport, driver’s license, and good driving record.

NCGA is an equal opportunity employer

The National Corn Growers Association is committed to cultivating a diverse workforce and a culture of inclusivity and belonging. Our goal is to attract qualified candidates and encourage applications from all individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. 

All inquiries and information will be handled in strict confidence.   Interested parties should contact:

Kevin Drury

Hedlin Ag Enterprises

P.O. Box 1235

Ankeny, IA 50021

Phone:  515-964-7997   Email:  Kdrury@hedlinag.com