Nov 29, 2010  |  Today's News |  ICGA

The Illinois Corn Growers Association honored five people during their Annual Meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel last week. 


David Flakne, Senior State Government Relations Manager for Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc, was the recipient of the 2010 Environmental Award. The award recognizes individuals who exhibit commitment to conservation and environmental preservation.


“Dave’s dedication to clean water in the state of Illinois is to be commended,” said Tim Lenz, ICGA President.  “We honor him with this environmental award today to be certain that his efforts with the Council on Best Management Practices and on atrazine have not gone unnoticed and that he understands our appreciation for his efforts.”


Ron Miller was presented with the Ethanol Award which seeks to celebrate the contributions of individuals that promote the ethanol industry. 


Miller has been a pioneer and leader in the ethanol industry since the early 80s when he fought for corn-based ethanol as an octane enhancer for gasoline and he’s still active in ethanol issues today.  He has over four decades experience in the energy industry, the last thirty years in alternative energy and biofuels.  He was a founding member of the Renewable Fuels Association and remains its longest serving Chairman ever.


“Ron took Pekin Energy Company from its humble beginnings as a 60 million gallon ethanol production facility, through its years with Williams Energy Company, until he was CEO of Aventine Renewable Energy Company where he grew the total capacity to 244 million gallons,” said Lenz.  “It’s obvious that we have an innovative thinker and a leader among us and we are happy to honor him in this way.”


Farm broadcaster Alan Jarand of RFD Radio and Mark Lambert, Senior Communications Manager for the National Corn Growers Association, were honored with the 2010 Media Award.


Jarand is responsible for the management and administration of the RFD Radio Network.  He is also responsible for maintaining affiliate relations with over 70 radio stations throughout Illinois.  He continually provides outstanding service to Illinois corn farmers by broadcasting markets and news worthy stories over the air waves.


“We are grateful to Alan Jarand and the countless other farm broadcasters across our state that do a wonderful job spreading our agricultural message to the masses.  In a time when the gap between farmers and consumers seems more like the Grand Canyon than the short stretch of road that it really is, we appreciate the efforts of farm journalists and especially Alan for continually delivering quality messaging about farmers and their efforts to provide a sustainable and cheap product for consumers,” said Lenz.


With NCGA, Lambert is responsible for media and public relations and a broad spectrum of video, social media, advertising and marketing support projects, as well as Director of the Corn Farmers Coalition.  Prior to his move to NCGA, he served as Communications Director for the Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Corn Marketing Board for 20 years.  In total, he has spent more than 30 years in communications and journalism, telling the story of agriculture and helping family farmers find a public and personal voice.


“Today’s award is given to a good friend in recognition of some outstanding PR work,” said Lenz.  “Mark’s management of the Corn Farmers Coalition and their incredible educational campaign in Washington, DC is one body of work that we couldn’t let escape unnoticed.”


Last year, the Corn Farmers Coalition’s efforts to educate Washington policy-makers on farmer’s advances and innovation received special recognition from the National Agri-Marketing Association taking its top award in the Public Affairs/Issues Management Program category.  A series of radio commercials for the Corn Farmers Coaltion was most recently honored by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting with the Herb Plambeck Award for Creative Excellence.


The final award of the day went to Dale Roth, Business Representative with the Carpenters’ District Council of Greater St. Louis & Vicinity.


The World of Corn Award goes to individuals, organizations or businesses for making significant contributions to the corn industry. The special award, now in its 20th year, was created to recognize the global importance of corn, and specifically honor individual pacesetters that have made Illinois a leader in the corn industry.


“Dale’s commitment to one of ICGA’s top priorities, upgrading our locks and dams, has been tireless and we are excited to celebrate the partnership,” said Lenz.  “Dale has been the driving force within the labor community to build coalitions with the ag community – coalitions that have helped us get as far as we have towards new locks and dams.  He undoubtedly deserves this award.”


Roth began his carpentry career in the apprenticeship program in the residential area building homes in Ste. Genevieve and surrounding communities.  He is a member of Carpenters’ Local Union 2030 in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri where he has been elected to various offices within the Local. 


As part of his organizing responsibilities to secure work for union carpenters, Roth became involved with Marc2000 in 2001.  Now Waterways Council Inc, Roth continues to work for locks and dams on the Mississippi River which will provide many man-hours for carpenters.