National Corn Growers CEO to retire after long stint in agriculture

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, March 14, 2014

The National Corn Growers Association announced the retirement today of CEO Rick Tolman after 37 years in agribusiness.
Tolman plans to leave corn’s top trade group at the end of September to spend more time with his family, association President Martin Barbre said in a statement.”Rick has been a tireless advocate for corn farmers and our organization. However, Rick told us — as much as he loves representing our way of life — he is ready to enjoy more time with his wife, Linda, and their five children and eight grandchildren, and other pursuits,” Barbre said. “As he said it, we all put off things until ‘someday,’ and, for him, ‘someday’ has finally come.”Prior to joining the corn group in 2010, Tolman spent nine years serving as the executive director of the U.S. Grains Council, a trade group that promotes barley, corn, sorghum and other products.He also served on the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board and helped lead the industry’s advocacy for the passage of the 2007 renewable fuel standard, which mandates yearly levels of corn ethanol production.

Along with the corn board, Tolman has served on the board of the Waterways Council Inc. and the executive committee of the Field to Market sustainability group, which he helped found. Tolman also served on the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee for grains and oilseeds and as chairman for the Midwest Area River Coalition. He has been affiliated with several other farm organizations and has earned awards for his advocacy on behalf of the corn and ethanol industries.

Tolman earned a bachelor’s degree in 1976 from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in 1978 from Purdue University, both in agricultural economics. Tolman lives in Missouri and is active in the local St. Louis community; he holds positions in Boy Scouts of America and served for five years as the ecclesiastical head of his local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congregation.

Barbre said that the National Corn Growers Association would soon announce members of a committee that will select the group’s next CEO.