NAIHC Board Member
Blue Ridge Company
PO Box 607Hardin, IL 62047-0607
Jeff Gain currently manages and lives on his farm in Calhoun County, Illinois and is also engaged in agricultural policy, marketing and management consulting. He is a co-founder and board member of the North American Industrial Hemp Council, a board member of the McCulley Heritage Project, and a member of the Board of Omni Ventures, Inc.
In 1995 he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the USDA Alternative Ag Research and Commercialization Corporation (AARC) and served as Chairman of the Board until its termination in May 2000. The AARC made equity investments in small, rural-based companies to commercialize industrial uses for agricultural materials.
Mr. Gain served for 10 years as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Corn Growers Association, retiring October 1, 1994. He was Executive Director of the American Soybean Association from 1977 to 1984. He is one of the original founders of the New Uses Council, formed in 1990 to serve as an advocate for commercializing new industrial uses for agricultural raw materials and to help coordinate public and private sector activities in that regard. He was Chairman of the New Uses council from 1991 to 1993.
Gain was one of the founders of the St. Louis Agri-Business Club and served as its first President. He was named the Agri-Business Leader of the Year by the Club in 1985. He also served as a member of USDA’s New Farm and Forest Products Task Force which resulted in the new industrial uses initiatives for U.S. agriculture. The Task Force recommendations in 1987 led to the creation of the AARC Corporation in the 1990 Farm Bill.
For his work in promoting the development of industrial products from agricultural materials, he received an Outstanding Leadership award from the American Crop Protection Association. Gain has been awarded the prestigious Wheeler McMillan award from the New Uses Council and has traveled extensively on marketing missions to Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia, including the People’s Republic of China.
A native of Rushville, Illinois, Gain has a B.S. degree in management from University of lllinois. After graduation, Lieutenant Gain served as Public Information Officer and as an admiral’s aide in the U.S. Coast Guard. He was an Executive Secretary of several Illinois county Farm Bureaus and Director of Commodity Programs for the Illinois Agricultural Association for 10 years. Gain has two daughters, Ann and Gretchen and a son, Jeffrey.