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Dale Busch inducted into the National Corn Growers Association Walter Goeppinger Recruiter Hall of Fame

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

Local farmer and former St. James agriculture teacher Dale Busch was inducted into the National Corn Growers Association Walter Goeppinger Recruiter Hall of Fame for his work in recruiting for various corn growers associations.

"I'm very honored to receive this, I don't do membership for the plaque or whatever I'll get, I do it because it's the thing to do," said Busch. "It's important to the organization that we stay visible, we have members, and we let people know what we're doing."

Last year, Busch received the Minnesota Recruiter Hall of Fame Award.

Busch was born and raised on a farm near Luverne, and later moved to St. James and taught agriculture at St. James High School for 35 years, and retired in 2000. Busch is also the former Secretary of Minnesota Agriculture Teachers Association.

In 2001, Busch joined the Minnesota Corn Growers regional rep program. As a regional rep, Busch focused on membership and promotion of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

"In the beginning, there were only five of us each assigned to our home area," said Busch.

Busch estimates that he had eight counties under his jurisdiction.

Busch says that he has worked on renewals and memberships with over 900 farmers since 2010. There are approximately 230 corn growers in the association and around 6,000 in the state of Minnesota.

In 2010, Busch focused his attention more on Watonwan County.

"There were certainly more corn growers than there were members," said Bush. "I felt that I had a unique position—having taught ag here for 35 years, I knew a lot of guys and their sons—I took it upon myself to try to build that membership."

In 2017, Busch retired from his post with the corn growers association and joined the Watonwan County Corn and Soybean Growers Board.

Even though he no longer works as a regional rep, Busch says the job with the county is still about recruiting and membership, as well as letting the public know what is going on with the corn and soybean growers.

"We are, I think, a very active county."

Busch highlights the relationship between farmers, farmers' wives, and kids as his favorite part of working in agriculture.

Busch recalls that last year for the corn drive, he had four St. James High School students in his truck, and all four students were either a son, daughter, grandson, or granddaughter of one of his former students.

"It was just delightful the chatter and talk and the fun that we had for the corn drive."

Busch urges those who are interested in agriculture and farming to get involved in FFA and 4-H.

In his lifetime of agriculture, Busch has seen massive changes in the sizes of operations of farms and equipment and the globalization of agriculture.

"When I started it was about cows, plows, and sows. It was production farming. We used to be able to operate on a local basis or a U.S. basis, that's no longer the case today."

The award will be presented at the 2021 Commodity Classic, a yearly expo with corn and soybean growers. This year's Commodity Classic was scheduled to take place in San Antonio in March, but instead will be held virtually.