Young corn farmers selected to participate in the Kansas Corn Corps will gain useful knowledge and insight into strategies they can use in their farming operations. Kansas Corn is accepting applications for the first class of the Kansas Corn Corps through Sept. 15.

"We want to provide young corn growers with information and resources they can use on the farm, and also offer them the ability to become more connected with growers across the state," Kansas Corn CEO Greg Krissek said.

Kansas Corn Corps is open to couples and individuals, allowing young growers to come together to learn and to take multiple perspectives back to the farm. Three sessions and a domestic agriculture trip will be held over a 16-month time frame launching in December 2016. The sessions will be held in winter months, when on-farm demands are slower. The program is patterned off of successful young corn farmer development programs being conducted in other corn states.

"This is a holistic program that focuses on helping young growers succeed, providing them with a strong network and helping them explore new opportunities to become innovators on their farms and in their communities," Krissek said. "Corn Corps sessions will be focused on the business aspects of farming with the goal of providing information that is applicable to the lives of young corn farmers."

The first Kansas Corn Corps retreat is scheduled from Dec. 9-11, 2016. In the first session, Corn Corps members will participate in an exercise to understand their strengths and how to use them on the farm; discuss strategies to work with different generations and perspectives; learn about branding their farms with important business partners such as landlords; provide input and get an update on the evolving role of university extension and discover opportunities for involvement. The Corn Corps participants will provide input for set the agendas for the following sessions to ensure they are applicable.

To participate, farmers must be actively involved in a Kansas corn farming operation. Participants must be 45 or younger, and both men and women are encouraged to apply. Applications are due Sept. 15, 2016. For information, call Stacy Mayo, Director of Industry Relations at 785-448-6922, or smayo@ksgrains.com. Background information, agendas and application forms are available at kscorn.com/corncorps.