Former WAEF Chairman Roger Calhoun RememberedJennifer Witherbee
This week we got to honor the memory of a very special man to WAEF. Roger Calhoun was elected chairman of the Washington Apple Education Foundation Board of Directors in 2007. He began his board service with WAEF in 2003 and retired from the board in 2012.
During his tenure, Roger led efforts to revise our strategic plan and adapt our governance model to match the foundation’s growth. Roger’s work has had lasting impacts at WAEF and for those of us that got to work with him, his voice is still heard when analyzing opportunities.
Roger came to WAEF through his role at Northwest Farm Credit Services. He had a 35-year career with NWFCS.
This week Northwest Farm Credit Services honored his memory and the impact he had with their company by making a $25,000 donation to a scholarship at WAEF in his name. Ken Ballard, one of Roger’s hires at NWFCS, shared the gift with Roger’s family. He took the opportunity to share with them about some of the specific impacts Roger had in his life, for many of his co-workers, and on the tree fruit industry. Below are some additional comments about Roger’s impact at NWFCS.
“For those who did not know Roger, he was the head of Corporate Accounts for NWFCS for years (now part of the Lending division). He actually developed the business unit, which was responsible for our company’s drive to become a relevant source of credit for the vertically integrated, food processing, timber, dairy and fisheries industries in the Northwest. Later in his career Roger was a lead in the development of Northwest Farm Credit Services “Business Management Center” which is an outreach to the agricultural community providing knowledge tools and transition planning facilitation for agricultural businesses,” Ken Ballard, VP/Relationship Manager, Northwest Farm Credit Services.
Roger Calhoun passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 31, 2021. Roger was born on the “lucky leap year” day of February 29, 1944, in Puyallup, Washington. Roger grew up on a farm in Graham, Washington, where his mother raised him alongside his brother, James, and sisters, Jean and Christine. He started working at the age of three doing chores around the farm to help the family. Roger was known for his wonderful work ethic and contributed that to his childhood; telling stories of how when neighbors called him and asked for help, he was expected to go.
In high school, he was active in 4-H and showed cattle. When he went to college, he had a small herd of cattle that helped him with college expenses. After high school, Roger attended Central Washington University and Washington State University. He was drafted into the army and served during the Vietnam War stationed in Germany. When he left the Army, he continued his education at WSU and later went to the University of Puget Sound where he received a Master’s Degree in Business.
Roger and his wife Barbara met in 1983 and had nearly 40 wonderful years of marriage together. He had two children, Kristin and Brett, and three grandchildren, Ireland, Tucker and Tate.
Roger took a position as a loan officer with the Federal Land Bank (now Northwest Farm Credit Services) and worked his way up in management. At the end of his career, Roger retired as Senior Vice President of Corporate Accounts. He had 35 years with NW Farm Credit Services and was a very respected leader, mentor, and friend to many of his colleagues. He had a true passion in training and promoting talented employees to leading roles in the Farm Credit organization.
Roger was active in Washington Apple Education Foundation, Southwest Rotary, AgForestry and a longtime blood donor for the American Red Cross. Roger was instrumental in WAEF’s strategic planning and growth. He was elected chairman of WAEF in 2007.
Roger & Barbara annually funded a WAEF scholarship titled AgNW Consulting. With the generous contribution from Northwest Farm Credit Services, this award will now be endowed at WAEF titled the Roger Calhoun Memorial. The scholarship in his honor recognizing the tremendous man Roger was and continues his impact on future generations by providing the gift of education.
Contributions to the scholarship fund may be made at www.waef.org/donate or by sending a check addressed to WAEF, 2900 Euclid Avenue, Wenatchee WA 98801. Please reference Roger Calhoun Memorial Scholarship on the online donation comments or check memo.