Lindsay Mitchell

Jan 08, 2018  |  Today's News |  ICGA

Bloomington, IL – Kent Kleinschmidt of Emden is the recipient of the Illinois Corn Growers Association’s (ICGA) top award, presented at the organization’s annual meeting Nov. 21, 2017, at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal. 


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 27th 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.


“Kent Kleinschmidt continues to be a leader that always shows up for the organization and is willing to spend the time to support corn farmers all over Illinois,” said Justin Durdan, family farmer and ICGA President. 


Kent joined the ICGA Board of Directors in 1987 and served as ICGA President in 1993.  Later, he joined the Illinois Corn Marketing Board in 2006, serving as chairman in 2012-13.  Kent has also often served as the Tazewell County Corn Growers Association President. 


During his tenure of service, Kent has been on the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) board, several NCGA action teams, and other national and international service opportunities.  He has traveled to other countries promoting U.S. corn sales and has hosted international visitors to his farm.


In short, Kent lives by the motto “the world is run by those who show up” and he always shows up for the corn industry and for his farmer neighbors and peers.  To say that IL Corn is grateful for his past and continued commitment to service in our industry is an understatement.


“There are so many things to appreciate about Kent.  He’s always willing to help, and certainly, every association needs that sort of volunteer – the ones you can count on.  But he also brings humor and friendship to our board meetings and events.  He can lighten the mood when needed and he can drive home a point when he’s passionate about it.  He cares about the rest of the farmer board and the staff and is a friend to each of us,” said Durdan.

“It is my honor to present this award to Kent today.”


Kent and his wife Sara have two sons, two irreplaceable daughters in law, and four amazing grandchildren.  They farm together in Emden, IL.