AGRICULTURE AND FARMING COMMUNITY MOURNS LOSS OF INTERNATIONALLY-RECOGNIZED AGRICULTURAL LEADERWritten by Theresa Rose on June 19, 2015
Former American Farm Bureau Federation and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation President, Dean Kleckner, Remembered for Lifelong Dedication and Service to Agriculture
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – June 18, 2015 – Former American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) President, Dean Kleckner, 82, formerly of Rudd and Urbandale, Iowa, died June 15 at his current residence in Wayzata, Minnesota. His wife of 62 years, Natalie, and family members were by his side.
Kleckner was best known for his decades-long leadership within the Farm Bureau, the nation’s largest grassroots farm organization. Kleckner’s leadership began at age 26 when he was elected president of the Floyd County Farm Bureau. In 1963, Kleckner became the vice president of IFBF and in 1975 was elected president of IFBF. Kleckner served as IFBF president for 10 years, while also serving on the AFBF board of directors. In 1986, he was elected president of AFBF and served seven two-year terms.
“Dean Kleckner, a farmer from Floyd County Iowa, equipped with a tenacious memory and passion for agricultural policy, became an iconic leader and advocate for farmers, recognizable around the globe,” said IFBF President Craig Hill. “Few people could endure the schedule and sacrifice he made to advance the interests of American agriculture. His singular efforts to elevate the merits of and status of free and open markets with regards to trade has been matched by few in American history.”
Kleckner’s distinguished career included service on the U.S. Trade Advisory Committee, with appointments from three U.S. Presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. In 1988, Kleckner was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to the National Economic Commission created by Congress to draft long-term solutions to balance the budget.
From 2000 to 2012, Kleckner was the Chairman of Truth About Trade and Technology (TATT), a non-profit advocacy group led by American farmers. Over his decades of leadership, Kleckner also served on many company and organization boards, including: the World Food Prize, the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council, the National Policy Association, the National Livestock Producers Association, the Meat Export Federation, the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University, Iowans for Tax Relief, and the Health Policy Corporation of Iowa.
A public memorial service for Dean Kleckner will be held at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 8301 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale, Iowa, on Tuesday, August 18, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. The public memorial will be immediately followed by a reception and fellowship at the church. The committal, at McLarens Resthaven Chapel in West Des Moines, will be private.
The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 1000W, Washington, D.C. 20024 or The Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011.