Mike Turner, executive director of the Wisconsin Crop Production Association (WCPA), died July 22 after a long and courageous fight with cancer. He served as WCPA’s leader from March 2004 to April 2009.
He is survived by his wife Brenda and children Kyle, Briana, Mikala, and Natalie.
“From the day of his first interview with the then-Wisconsin Fertilizer and Chemical Association (WFCA) selection committee, Mike’s tenure at WCPA was marked by high energy, hard work, innovation, enthusiasm, and a positive, can-do attitude … no matter what the challenge might be,” according to the association.
“In Mike’s first letter to the membership he wrote: ‘My overall vision for the association is to increase WFCA’s exposure, visibility, involvement, and success within the political and professional arenas where your industry is exposed to professional scrutiny and policy-related issues,’ the WCPA news release continues. “Mike fulfilled his vision.”
WCPA points out its evolution during Turner’s leadership, marked by several progressive changes. For example, the name was changed to the Wisconsin Crop Production Association, a.change Turner initiated to include a much larger membership base and a stronger voice for that membership in legislative affairs. Some of the other instrumental changes that he initiated were the Ambassador Program, the Custom Applicator Program, the WCPA Web site, the Members Meeting and Seminar, and the Agronomy Manager Assessment Center.
He served on the Board of Directors of the Ag Retailers Association (ARA), and several other industry-related committees including the Ag Coalition, the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s State Technical Committee, the Pioneer and Discovery Farm Steering Committee, and the Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Committee.
Turner, who delighted in nature and was a dedicated family man, also was a skilled author of three childrens’ book — “That Cat is Really Something;” “The Big Search,” and “Lily McHillabee Lost Her Key.”
A memorial service was held July 25 at the Cress Funeral Home in Sun Prairie, WI.