Washington, August 11, 2015 – Soybean leaders across the country are fondly remembering Kinmundy, Illinois soybean farmer Dwain Ford, 65, who passed away at his home Aug. 10 after fighting cancer.
"We lost a great leader. Dwain was a wealth of knowledge and a great supporter of soybeans. Our thoughts are with his family and his friends," says Daryl Cates, soybean farmer from Columbia, Ill., and current Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) chairman.
Ford served on the Land of Lincoln Soybean Association from 1991-2000, and was chairman from 1997-1998. He was president of the American Soybean Association (ASA) from 2002-2003. In December 2014, he was elected secretary of the United Soybean Board (USB), having served on that board for more than six years.
Dwain and his wife, Melba, co-owned and operated the family farm and M&D Seed Company in southern Illinois where they produced and marketed soybeans, corn and wheat. Their family includes son, Shannon; his wife, Misty; son, Ryan; his wife, Carrie; and many grandchildren.
"Dwain was a true gentleman and always had soybean farmer interests first in his heart. His knowledge and experience gave him great insight into issues and projects important to soybean farmers. He was a fantastic advocate for soybeans," says Ron Moore, Roseville, who served as ISA chairman from 2009 to 2011.
"Dwain's knowledge of the soybean industry and his years of experience made him an influential leader and valuable resource for me and for ISA. His positive relationships with people in Illinois, the U.S. and around the world have helped to shape the success of today's soybean industry. I also consider him a great friend and a wonderful guy," says Bill Wykes, Yorkville, who served as ISA chairman from 2012 to 2013.
"When you ask today's ISA directors, they say Ford was the perfect example of lifelong leadership. He had a huge impact on the ag industry and its people," says Bill Raben, Ridgway, who served as ISA chairman from 2013 to 2015.
"Soybean farmers have lost one of their great leaders and champions. Beyond my dad, I always considered Dwain the greatest mentor I ever had," says Doug Winter, Mill Shoals, who served on the United Soybean Board with Ford.
Funeral arrangements for Ford are pending at the Rogers-Atkins Funeral Home in Salem.
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