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Juanita Farmer Talks Corn

By Jay Reiners
Farmer from Juanita, Nebraska and Chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board

Editor’s Note – The following article is one of a four-part series, highlighting each of the four main pillars of the Nebraska Corn Board including communication, education, market development and research and how each one works for the betterment of Nebraska’s corn farmers.

“My grandfather farmed, and my father farmed and now I farm.” Those words are becoming less typical as the years go by. Being blessed to be able to say the statement still, I know we must ensure agriculture education continues. The Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) promotes education; for those with an agriculture background but also those who may have never stepped foot in a cornfield.

A program Nebraska has long funded in conjunction with the Nebraska Soybean Board is Nebraska CommonGround. The program consists of farm women who have conversations with consumers about food and how it’s grown and produced. They share their personal experiences, as well as science and research, to help consumers sort through the myths and misinformation surrounding food and farming. Sometimes hearing mom to mom is much easier than reading a post online or hearing it on the news.

In addition, we are supporters of Nebraska’s Ag Sack Lunch Program. As a supplement to fourth-grade field trips to the state capital, we offer a 20-minute lesson along with an all-Nebraskan meal to nearly 5,500 students with each product directly connected to Nebraska – from the roast beef sandwich to the corn chips. This program in turn educates students who may go home and tell their parents what they learned, which could impact future purchasing and agriculture literacy.

In 2023, we looked outside the box to sponsor the Storm Chasers baseball game and turned them into the Corn Chasers for one night. With jerseys that looked like an ear of corn, quizzes between innings, corn in concessions and of course the illustrious corn song, we made a big impact on education in the Omaha metro. 

In 20 years, my personal goal is that all Nebraskans have knowledge and a connection to agriculture, whether a friend or family, and NCB helps to ensure it can happen.