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Iowa Corn Growers Association Remembers Warren Kemper

Posted on April 12, 2013 at 8:00 AM by Iowa Corn


The Iowa Corn Growers Association has lost a true corn promoter. Warren Kemper from Wapello, Iowa passed away suddenly last Friday, leaving behind dear family members, friends, neighbors, and a legacy of dedication to the corn industry.

Warren farmed for many years in Louisa County, producing corn and soybeans and tirelessly working to improve the corn industry. Kemper was a past member of the ICGA Board of Directors, a member of the Iowa Soybean Association, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, and MARC 2000.  He was been a member of the Mississippi Valley Farm Business Association for over 40 years and a long-time advocate for ethanol and river transportation.

In addition to actively serving his local community, Warren held numerous positions on national and state corn boards. In the 1980s, he organized many county corn grower groups in central and southeast Iowa, and under Kemper’s leadership, the Louisa County corn organization grew to be one of the nation’s largest county organizations.  In recent years, Warren was instrumental lining up prominent speakers for the Des Moines/Louisa county annual banquets including; U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, Governor Terry Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, Former Governor Chet Culver, and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

In 2012 the Iowa Corn Growers Association recognized his achievements with the first Iowa Corn Individual Leadership Award.

Warren once told me, when his dad passed away, he told Warren to keep working on river issues and for the past 30 plus years, Warren made countless trips to regional and state meetings and more than 50 trips to D.C. working with friendly and unfriendly legislators, staff, the Army Corps and more to improve our river infrastructure. There wasn’t a fact or figure about the river that he didn't know. In 2007 the Water Resources Development Act was signed while Warren sat in the Senate Gallery and finally just this week, there is budget movement to appropriate funds.

Sitting in a tiny funeral home in Wapello, Iowa Tuesday, I couldn't help but look around at the people from near and far who respected his determination and appreciated his sacrifices for our industry. It takes a big person to realize the world is bigger than them, but it takes one of the best to do something to make it better.

Mindy Williamson is the communications and public relations director for Iowa Corn. She grew up on an acreage, raising various 4-H livestock projects and tormenting her younger siblings. Mindy has a degree from Iowa State University in BPMI with an emphasis on botany and has worked in ag communications for almost 15 years. Mindy, her husband, Kevin, and their two children, live close to his families’ farming operation where they get in the way whenever possible.

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