In recognition of one of the agricultural industry’s leaders, the Minnesota Ag and Rural Leadership Program (MARL) has established an endowment in honor of Curt Watson from Renville, MN.
Watson passed away in 2012, but leaves a lasting impact on his family, community and the agricultural industry.
Watson served as a past president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and farmed with his family. Jerry Demmer, another leader, friend and fellow farmer, said that Watson “was a great advocate for corn growers, and their mission. He didn’t hold back on asking tough questions that sometimes people didn’t want to hear the answer. If he didn’t get the answer he would go and seek the answers out. Sometimes, instead of asking why, he’d ask ‘why not’? Why can’t we do this?” Curt was also passionate about helping younger people in agriculture, and served as a mentor to many.
Watson valued family, agriculture and leadership. A group of farmers from around the United States that knew and respected him have contributed seed money for the Curt Watson – MARL Endowment. Watson’s friends, family and colleagues hope that this seed money will be leveraged by contributions from others. Proceeds from the Curt Watson Endowment will be used to help the MARL Program provide a dynamic leadership development program for active and engaged adult agricultural and rural leaders in Minnesota.
Every two years a MARL class of approximately 30 participants is selected following an open application and interview process. These leaders participate in a series of nine in-state seminars, a national study tour, and an international study tour.
The MARL Program is privately funded. Participants pay a fee, which covers approximately 25 percent of the cost of operating the program. The remaining 75 percent is raised through generous investments from individuals, businesses and foundations.
Contributions to honor Curt Watson may be sent to: SMSU Foundation, Curt Watson – MARL Endowment,1501 State St.,Marshall, MN, 56258.