Rick Tolman, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association, on Thursday announced his retirement. He will step down Sept. 30.
"Rick has been a tireless advocate for corn farmers and our organization. However, Rick told us – as much as he loves representing our way of life – he is ready to enjoy more time with his wife, Linda, and their five children and eight grandchildren, and other pursuits," explained NCGA President Martin Barbre.
"As he said it, we all put off things until 'someday,' and, for him, 'someday' has finally come, after 14 years of service to the organization and a 37-year career in agriculture."
Tolman joined the organization in September 2000 after serving as executive director of the U.S. Grains Council. Previously, he served as marketing planning manager for the Advanced Harvesting Systems Group at International Harvester Company and market research analyst for the Gehl Company.
"While we are certainly happy for Rick and his family, it was with great trepidation that we heard the news initially," Barbre said. "Change is hard for some to accept. Once we all realized that we could not talk Rick out of his decision, we offered him a hearty thank you for his dedicated service. Rick is definitely riding into the sunset on a high note."
Among his many awards, Tolman was recognized as the 2008 Agribusiness Leader of the Year by the National Agri-Marketing Association, and in 2010 received the Agribusiness Leader of the Year award from the St. Louis Agribusiness Club. He also was a proud recipient of Purdue University’s Agricultural Alumni Association Certificate of Distinction in 2011, and this year received the Purdue College of Agriculture’s Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award.
"We all want to leave things better than we found them, and Rick can certainly be proud of his legacy at NCGA," Barbre said. "As we look forward to the next chapter in professional association management, I want to assure NCGA members, affiliated state organizations and other stakeholders that NCGA has a sound, methodical process and plan in place for an orderly CEO succession."
Barbre said he would soon announce members of a CEO search committee and will be sharing additional details as the search for a replacement continues.
Tolman is a graduate of Brigham Young University and received his master's degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University. He resides in Ballwin, Mo.