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ICGA First Vice President balances farming and advocacy

Riley Smith chats with ICGA First Vice President Jolene Riessen.

Harvest is finally wrapping up across most of Iowa. This year was definitely an interesting one, with intense drought issues defining the back half of the growing season. Northwest Iowa saw the worst of the drought in the state, with some areas seeing rainfall deficits close to fifteen inches. Other parts of the region, though, did end up getting pretty lucky. I took a trip up to Ida Grove last month to visit with Iowa Corn Growers Association First Vice President Jolene Riessen, and she said some timely rains really saved their crop.

Riessen farms with her two sons in Ida and Sac Counties. The boys help out tremendously with running the farm- and much of that farming ability can be attributed to their parents, who made sure the boys had plenty of education and experience before returning to the farm. Riessen said she joined the ICGA because she wanted to have a more active role in advocating for agriculture and her sons.

When I was up there, they were harvesting a corn field for a neighbor. Riessen said that neighbor had actually approached the boys about a potential custom farming job, and their knowledge has created a successful operation.

Riessen said she’s lucky to be able to have a true family farm, especially as that becomes more difficult each year with families becoming further removed from the farm.

We’ll have the rest of my conversation with ICGA First Vice President Jolene Riessen in tomorrow’s news. For more information on the ICGA, visit iowacorn.org.