Last week, long-time USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) employee and friend to USA Rice, Mark Rose, passed away unexpectedly. Rose spent 31 years as a public servant, working first for his alma mater, The Ohio State University in research and agricultural leadership development before heading to NRCS.
Rose began his career with NRCS as a soil conservationist and worked his way up the ranks in Ohio, Oklahoma, Maryland, and eventually to National Headquarters in Washington, DC, where he served as the director of conservation financial assistance programs. He was instrumental in helping USA Rice and the Rice Stewardship Partnership secure funding through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and making rice-friendly revisions to the Conservation Stewardship Program.
USA Rice staff and members met with Rose less than a week prior to his passing during the Government Affairs Conference in Washington, where he described the Rice Stewardship Partnership as “exemplary” for other commodities and wildlife organizations.
Dave White, former NRCS chief and supervisor to Rose, said, “This is a hard one for me - Mark was truly one of the ‘good guys.’ He cared deeply about agriculture and worked tirelessly to make the conservation programs better. Mark always had time to visit with producers and his kindness enriched our lives.”
Rose is survived by his wife, father, three children, and two grandchildren.