The Asmark Institute board of directors and staff are saddened by the passing of Ford B. West, a friend and devoted fertilizer industry visionary whose selfless passion for agriculture contributed immensely to the success of the entire industry. We are thankful to have known him and humbled by all that was accomplished during his nearly 35 years of service to agriculture throughout his career with The Fertilizer Institute (TFI).
Mr. West served on the Asmark Institute board of directors from 2005 to 2013 as valued advisor and was instrumental in shaping the organization’s mission. His leadership also drove the creation of our industry’s voluntary ResponsibleAg Certification Program.
“His leadership inspired leadership,” said Jean Payne, president of the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association as she reflected on working with Ford West on the Asmark board.
Even after retiring, West could be found at industry events supporting the ResponsibleAg Program. During the 2016 ARA Conference and Expo in Orlando, he proudly donned a ResponsibleAg safety vest and stopped by to visit with Billy Pirkle, fellow Asmark Institute and ResponsibleAg board member, and Amber Duke, Asmark Institute president and CEO.
“Ford was a mentor to me and so many others who were coming into leadership roles in our industry. He helped shape my career with his guidance, which was pure gold,” said Duke.
As we mourn his passing, we remember with fondness Ford’s positive attitude, affable demeanor and sincere commitment to forging relationships that brought about positive change in the best interests of agriculture – farmers, retailers, and manufacturers alike.
Ford West will be greatly missed, and our thoughts are with his wife Cathy and his entire family.