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For a Healthy Population and Economy

Advisory Board

Thank A Farmer® is honored to have a distinguished Board. All members grew up on Iowa farms, graduated from Iowa State University and went on to great success in their various fields of choice.

Sara Deppe Sara Deppe


Growing up the sixth generation on her family’s century farm, she participated in a variety of agricultural, leadership, citizenship and communication projects and award opportunities.

On receiving a degree from Iowa State University in Child and Family Services, she went on to serve as an Educational Coordinator for a child care resource and referral organization in Indiana. She wrote and taught many continued education classes for early childhood professionals and later taught early care and education classes on contract through Iowa State University Extension.

Sara works as an Early Childhood Quality Enhancement Educator for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Roger Secrist Roger Secrist


Graduating from Iowa State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, Roger served as a Senior Executive in several Fortune 1000 companies for more than 35 years, culminating as CEO of a high value specialty chemical company with domestic and foreign sales and production. Throughout his career, he provided venture and business development project management for several large organizations and headed the complete turnaround of two businesses, from losses greater than their annual depreciation, to profitability in excess of 25% of their doubled sales revenue.

Roger was a founder of the Carolina Horse Park Foundation, 501C3, raising funds and constructing the now nationally recognized $5 million equestrian competition center. He served as a member of the United States Eventing Association 501C3 Board of Governors and Executive committee

*Roger is Secretary of the Thank A Farmer® organization.

Florine Schulte Swanson Florine Schulte Swanson


Graduating in Home Economics Education, Florine’s career has revolved around organizations impacting women and children. She was the Executive Director of the Iowa 4-H Foundation for 18 years and prior to that time served on the board for 11 years. Florine presented on Women in Agriculture to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women Conference. She is a board member and convener of the development committee of the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund in New York City, a national Vision 2020 delegate, and on the national AAUW Legacy Circle committee.

In Florine’s years of service she has received many awards including Wallaces Farmer Master Farmer Award and being inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

J. David “Dave” Nichols J. David “Dave” Nichols


Has helped guide a 240-acre family farm in Adair County, IA, into a national full-service genetic provider in five states by using tough standards, science-based technology and aggressive marketing. Nichols Farms has grown into the 3rd largest seed stock operation in the US and the largest in the Midwest. Since 1966 they have exported semen, embryos and live cattle to 30 foreign countries.

Dave was Iowa 4-H state president and a member of FFA, winning the National FFA speech contest. He is on the NCBA board of directors, NCBA Research and Education Committee, was named to Beef Magazines top 50 people who made a difference in the last 50 years, awarded ISU animal science Hall of Fame award and Wallaces Farmer Master Farmer Award.

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