Dean Kleckner, 82, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) from 1986-2000, passed away June 15 at his home in Wayzata, Minn.
Kleckner served the Farm Bureau organization at the local, state, and national levels for 46 years; first as a county president in Floyd County, Iowa. He moved up the leadership ranks and served as the Iowa Farm Bureau president and later as the chief of AFBF, the nation’s largest grassroots farm organization.
Kleckner was later recognized with AFBF's Distinguished Service Award.
He was a champion of U.S. farmers who worked tirelessly to increase net farm income and open new markets for U.S. farm products around the world. Kleckner served on the U.S. Trade Advisory Committee through appointments by U.S. Presidents’ Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
From 2000 to 2012, he served as the chairman of Truth About Trade & Technology (TATT), a nonprofit advocacy group led by American farmers.
The farm leader is the namesake of TATT's Kleckner Trade & Technology Advancement Award and Iowa State University's Dean Kleckner Global Agriculture Graduate Scholarship Award.