The American Farm Bureau Federation presented its highest honor, the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award, to Ambassadors Dr. Richard Crowder and Dr. Kenneth Quinn. The award was announced during the 94th AFBF Annual Meeting.
AFBF established the Distinguished Service Award to honor individuals who have devoted their careers to serving agriculture.
With more than 40 years of experience in the agriculture and food sector, Crowder has dedicated his career to advancing the farming and ranching industry. He served as the U.S. chief agriculture negotiator from January 2006 to May 2007, with the rank of ambassador, and as a senior advisor to the U.S. trade representative from May 2007 to April 2008. Prior, he served as the chief executive officer of the American Seed Trade Association.
Dr. Crowder has also held/holds various senior management and board level positions with The Pillsbury Company (now General Mills), Mendel Biotechnology, Inc., Commodity Credit Corporation, Neogen Corp. and Smithfield Foods, Inc. He is a professor of international trade at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He also serves as an adjunct
professor of agricultural economics at Virginia Tech University.
"Dr. Crowder is a true ambassador of agriculture, having worked to better opportunities for farmers and ranchers in trade, biotechnology and marketing agriculture products," said AFBF President Bob Stallman. "I am honored to have worked alongside him while he served at USTR, where his work on trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, as well as Russia accession into the World Trade Organization, has helped ensure better market access for farmers and ranchers."
Dr. Quinn, former U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia, has served as president of the World Food Prize Foundation since January 2000. Under Dr. Quinn's direction, the stature of the annual $250,000 World Food Prize award has helped significantly expand the size and scope of World Food Day, the World Food Prize Laureate Award, the "Borlaug Dialogue" international symposium and the Global Youth Institute.
Prior to his work at the World Food Prize Foundation, Quinn served at the State Department for 32 years in the Foreign Service. He served in such positions as a rural development advisor in the Mekong Delta, on the National Security Council staff at the White House and as director of Iowa SHARES, the humanitarian campaign that sent Iowa doctors, nurses, medical supplies and food to starving Cambodian refugees. He is one of the most decorated Foreign Service officers of his generation, recognized for the important role he's played in humanitarian endeavors.
"Dr. Quinn exemplifies the genuine meaning of humanitarianism," said Stallman. "His work at the World Food Prize helps to advance the quality, quantity and availability of food throughout the world. Carrying on Dr. Norman Borlaug's vision and work in agriculture, Dr. Quinn has continued to raise awareness of modern agriculture's importance to the world food supply."
The Illinois Farm Bureau nominated Dr. Crowder to receive the DSA award, while the Iowa Farm Bureau nominated Dr. Quinn. A national Farm Bureau committee named them both as winners.