Foundation Welcomes New Blue and Gold Society Members
On Tuesday evening, June 11, three new members are being inducted into the Foundation’s Blue and Gold Society on the State FFA Convention stage. Dennis and Joan Behr, Paul Gross and Jerry Steiner will join this prestigious group of donors who have made significant financial contributions to the Foundation.
Dennis and Joan Behr have seen first-hand the positive impact FFA has on young people who are interested in agriculture and leadership development. Joan recently retired as a communications executive with Foremost Farms USA after a 32-year career with the cooperative and previously served on the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Board of Directors.
They say the decision to be part of the Blue & Gold Society is their small way of nurturing the talent and knowledge that it will take to feed the world, develop new products and markets, and implement new technology that advances agriculture.
Paul Gross was a member of the Johnson Creek FFA chapter as well as a member of the 1989-90 state officer team.Today, he and his wife, Kirsten, live in central Ohio with their family of four children, Cheney, Reagan, Nixon, and Quincy Adams.
Paul's primary profession is off the farm however, where he owns, operates, and manages two retirement communities and a separate large insurance claim management company. They also own several thousand acres of ground and actively raise beef cattle to keep their kids grounded and develop the solid work ethic that can only come from agriculture.
Jerry Steiner has enjoyed a 40-year career in the agriculture industry, and it all started with FFA through his service as the 1978-79 Wisconsin Vice President from the New Holstein Chapter.
He served at Monsanto for 30 years, eventually as the company’s executive vice president of Sustainability and Corporate Affairs.
Currently, Jerry is CEO of agricultural startup CoverCress Inc. In addition, he is a Trustee of the Keystone Policy Center focused on education, health policy, and the environment. And, founder of Field to Market, an alliance seeking sustainable outcomes for agriculture. He also serves on the Board of the national AGR Foundation.
The Blue and Gold Society was formed in 2001 and with these generous donors, will now number 36 in membership.