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Meet Randy Kron: the man behind the title of Indiana Farm Bureau PresidentMeet Randy Kron: the man behind the title of Indiana Farm Bureau President

Understand the man and you may get a feel for how he approaches his leadership role.

Tom Bechman 1

April 14, 2016

3 Min Read

The new year brought a new leader for Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc., the state’s largest general farm organization. Long-time president Don Villwock, Edwardsport, retired, and his long-serving vice president, Randy Kron, Evansville, took over in January.

You learned what he thought about his first 100 days as president yesterday. Today, meet the man himself by asking him about the toys in his bookcase in his office.

“There has been a bit of a change in color,” Kron quips. Villwock was died in the wool Case IH, and his office was filled with red toys. The new color scheme is primarily blue and yellow, the colors of New Holland.


“Don and I aren’t as far apart on tractor colors as you might think,” he adds. “Both brands are made by the same company.”

Related: One self-made farmer leader takes over from another

The orange and black of the Allis-Chalmers 7060 catches one’s eye. It’s the odd-color-out, yet prominently displayed.

“That represents the used tractor we started farming with,” he relates. “We didn’t have much money, and I bought it because I could get the horsepower I needed for less money.”

Indeed, the man who now heads up the state’s largest farming organization didn’t come home from college to a family farm. Farming was in his family’s background, but his father, William, spent his career working for the Soil Conservation Service, forerunner of NRCS.

Kron started farming 66 acres as a junior in high school. He had to buy what equipment he needed. When he returned from Purdue University in 1983, he was farming 400 acres.

You read right - 1983 - the front edge of one of Indiana agriculture’s biggest recessions, which would get worse before it got better. “And it was a drought year here to boot,” Kron chimes in.

He and his partner, Joyce, were married the next year.

Timing works

“Looking back, it was actually a good time to start farming in some ways,” Kron says. “Joyce and I pinched pennies, and earned everything the hard way. We know something about hard times, because that’s how we started out. My parents, William and Emily, helped as much as they could, but we still had to make it on our own.”

Then there are newer toys in the bookcase, the blue New Holland toy tractors and yellow New Holland combine that represent the equipment Kron uses today. They also tell a story.

Related: New Indiana Farm Bureau leader looks back on first 100 days

“We’ve found out that if you’re loyal to someone, they’re loyal to you,” Kron says. “We’ve got an excellent New Holland dealership in our area, and they’ve went above and beyond to help out.”

Kron recalled the story when the transmission went out of a combine, and the owner himself drove all night to get a transmission to make sure they could run the next day. “You remember things like that,” Kron says.

Indeed! It appears Indiana Farm Bureau has another steady, well-tested, loyal hand at the helm.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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