The South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) and South Dakota Corn Utilization Council (SDCUC) presented Ron Alverson of Chester, S.D. with an Excellence in Agriculture Award during their 20th Annual Meeting held Jan. 7. The award honors an outstanding leader in agriculture who exemplifies excellence in agriculture by their significant contributions to the industry as a whole.
Alverson has demonstrated remarkable passion and leadership in South Dakota agriculture. He is a pacesetter and has achieved great successes for South Dakota agriculture, which have set the stage for others to succeed.
Alverson had a dream that he didn’t give up on for South Dakota producers that they could not only produce food but energy and his persistence helped create a playing field for producers in South Dakota. He is a founding father of agricultural pursuits including the SDCGA but he also helped create South Dakota’s first producer-owned ethanol production coop, Dakota Ethanol, for which he served as their first president and continues to be on the board of directors. In 2002, Dakota Ethanol was chosen to host President George W. Bush and Alverson had the distinct honor of introducing the President to the crowd. He was also active in securing legislation such as the South Dakota Producer Incentive and he helped establish the corn checkoff.
Alverson and his fellow ethanol cooperative founders served as mentors to ethanol plant boards that followed. His willingness to transfer knowledge to others and promote the industry launched a producer-led effort to make sure farmers were able to be shareholders in one of South Dakota’s greatest economic success stories …the ethanol industry.
Not only has this individual been an outstanding leader in the ethanol industry, but his pioneering spirit in the SDCGA contributed to the SDCGA’s success. He served as the SDCGA’s first secretary and later as president and vice president. He also served on the National Corn Growers Association board of directors.
He and his wife, Sue, have instilled the passion of agriculture in their two children, Keith and Kara, while raising them on their diversified grain and livestock farm near Chester.