LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Corn Board is pleased to announce the hiring of Jill Parrent as the Director of Communications and Rachael Whitehair as the Director of Innovation & Stewardship.
In the role of Director of Communications, Parrent will lead state communication efforts including the Communications Committee, branding consistency, working collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders, and developing communications campaigns. Parrent will organize and manage promotions and outreach efforts at in-person events throughout the state including Husker Harvest Days, Nebraska State Fair, FFA State Convention, and ethanol pump promotions. Parrent will be the contact for media inquiries from local, national, and international journalists regarding Nebraska’s corn industry.
Prior to joining the Nebraska Corn Board, Parrent spent time in commodity communications for the Illinois Soybean Board. A graduate from Iowa State University in agricultural communications, her roots run deep in agriculture.
“The Nebraska Corn Board supports the number one industry in Nebraska – agriculture. It’s truly an honor to play a role in promoting and communicating engagements and opportunities which will assist in the work Nebraska farmers do each day,” Parrent states.
As the Director of Innovation & Stewardship, Whitehair will manage the Nebraska Corn Board’s projects and priorities focused on efficient crop production innovation, new use research and development, and stewardship initiatives that support the board’s strategic vision – Enhancing Demand. Adding Value. Ensuring Sustainability.
The Director of Innovation & Stewardship oversees the board’s research funding program and seeks to advance the board’s sustainability and stewardship initiatives, including identifying and developing opportunities to collaborate with key partners around such issues as crop production and efficiency, water quantity/quality, soil health, and natural resources conservation.
Previously, Whitehair served as a water quality outreach specialist for UW – Madison Extension, building capacity within Wisconsin communities to address nitrate and phosphorus contamination of ground and surface waters. An Iowa State University graduate of dual degrees, Rachael holds a bachelor’s degree in biology with minors in agronomy and animal ecology, and a master’s degree in agricultural education specializing in adult extension education.
“Innovation is crucial to the continued success of Nebraska’s corn industry. I am thankful for the opportunity to seek out and assist in the development of big-thinker ideas that will push the corn industry forward in new demand opportunities in a sustainable manner,” Whitehair says.
“The Nebraska Corn Board is excited to have both Jill and Rachael join our team,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, Executive Director of the Nebraska Corn Board. “They bring a great passion to agriculture with strong backgrounds in their fields which will enable us to continue moving the organization in a strategic direction benefiting Nebraska corn farmers.”
The Nebraska Corn Board is funded through a producer checkoff investment of ½-cent-per-bushelcheckoff on all corn marketed in the state and is managed by nine farmer directors. The mission of the Nebraska Corn Board is to promote the value of corn by creating opportunities.