At the Indiana Farm Bureau state convention in mid-November, new leaders for the state’s largest farm organization will be chosen. Over the next several weeks, Hoosier Ag Today will profile those seeking leadership positions.
We begin with Jeff Gormong. He farms 2,000 acres in southern Vigo County and has been involved in Farm Bureau for over 20 years, starting with the Young Farmers organization and currently as District 7 Director. He says Farm Bureau is critical for the continued success of Indiana agriculture, “There is a lot of misinformation about agriculture out there, and it is critical for organizations like Farm Bureau to continue to educate and inform lawmakers, regulators, and the general public about what we do to feed the world.” He added that he believes he has the leadership skills to help Farm Bureau grow and thrive in the future.
Gormong says engagement is crucial for the future of agriculture and Farm Bureau plays a vital role in getting people engaged and involved, “I think we live in a society where it is very easy to not worry about a problem until it affects me. Then a few months down the road it affects me, and I realize if I had gotten involved earlier this would not be knocking at my door. An organization like Farm Bureau can get people involved, to be engaged and to look at what is coming in the future, and do something about it.” Gormong has had plenty of experience in this area both at the county and state levels.
He added one of the biggest challenges Farm Bureau faces is membership, “The key is to convince people of the value of Farm Bureau membership. I think if we show them the dollars we have saved them in property taxes, and how we have stopped some of the forced annexation, and been on the front lines of national issues like WOTUS and the GMO label issue — you just have to continue to talk about the value that is coming back to their farm.”
Gormong is a vice presidential candidate and will be voted on if the current vice president Randy Kron is elected president. Gormong had high praise for Kron and said he would have no problem working with Kron as president. Gormong has been married to his wife Beth for 25 years. They have three daughters: Jaena, 21; Kelsey, 19; and Jessica,17.
“I am a certified scuba diver and am also a founder of Elevate Ministries, an adventure ministry for men out of Maryland Community Church in Terre Haute, my home church. I served as a township trustee board member for 16 years, as chairman for 10,” he said.
The election of officers for Indiana Farm Bureau takes place at the annual meeting, which will be Nov. 17 in the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Other candidates include:
Candidates for President:
Randy Kron, Evansville, IN, current IFB Vice President
Dave Wyeth, North Salem, IN, current IFB District 5 Director
Donnie Lawson, Thorntown, IN, former IFB District 5 Director
Joe Kelsay, Franklin, IN, former Director of ISDA
Candidates for Vice President:
Isabella Chism, Galveston, IN, current IFB 2nd Vice President
Jeff Gormong, Farmersburg, IN, current IFB District 7 Director
Kevin Underwood, West Lafayette, IN, current IFB District 3 Director
Kendell Culp, Rensselaer, IN, former IFB District 3 Director
Candidates for 2nd Vice President:
Deb Walsh, Rochester, IN, current IFB District 1 Education & Outreach Coordinator
Marybeth Feutz, Princeton, IN, former IFB District 9 Education & Outreach Coordinator
Watch for interviews with other candidates coming soon to Hoosier Ag Today.