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Mid-Atlantic gaining influence (Editorial)

(Jan. 15, 2015) Read down the list of officers of the major national agricultural organizations and traditionally it is apparent that they come from the nation’s bread basket states.
The Midwest, the South, the Corn Belt, the ‘Big I’s in soybeans — Iowa, Indiana and Illinois.
Obviously, and rightfully so, the members of the influential ag organizations which help shape U.S. ag policy select their officers — most on an annual basis — from the leadership which emerges from the ‘big’ states, those states where the vast bulk of the nation’s corn, grain and soybeans is grown.
But that may be changing.
Producers from the Mid-Atlantic for instance, are beginning to show up in the top echelons of the big aggies.
Just take a look.
Rick Stern, a New Jersey soybean grower is a recently retired key member of one of five committees committees of the United Soybean Board.
Ryck Suydam, president of the New Jerset Farm Bureau and a member of the AFBF Board of Directors.
Chip Bowling of Maryland is in his first term as president of the National Corn Growers Association.
Richard Wilkins of Delaware is first vice president of the American Soybean Association and will advance to the presidency next year.
Chip Councell of Maryland is currently secretary/treasurer of the U.S. Grains Council and is in the line of succession to become USGC president in two years.
Lee McDaniel of Maryland is president of the National Association of Conservation Districts.
Jason Scott of Maryland serves as secretary/treasurer of U.S. Wheat Associates and, again, is in the line of succession to become president in two years.
Every Mid-Atlantic state has at least one member of the United Soybean Board which administers the national soybean checkoff program.
That, indeed, is an impressive array of leadership, and certainly a recognition by the colleagues of these men in those organizations that over there along the Atlantic Ocean, there is a leadership potential ready and eager to be tapped.
We congratulate these men for their service and wish them all success in the challenges which lie ahead.