2012 ~ Larry Kleingartner
Larry Kleingartner was instrumental in starting the combined industry-grower organization known as the National Sunflower Association in 1981 and served as the executive director until retiring in December of 2011. Looking out for all involved, he worked hard to expand the NSA scope to promote sunflower for all sectors, but keeping the grower in control. Career highlights include: key organizer in the switch to NuSun oil; active in developing farm policy in the 1990 farm bill; tenacious in the war against blackbirds; extensive travel domestically and internationally promoting sunflower and venues for the crop. Larry also worked with both state and federal government for funding of chemical registrations and was a stalwart advocate for research, specifically battling Sclerotinia and securing millions of dollars toward a solution.