BATON ROUGE — Ronald R. “Ronnie” Anderson, president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau, announced he will retire as leader of the state’s largest general farm organization effective June 28.
Anderson, 71, of Ethel, has served as president for the past 31 years, longer than any other Louisiana Farm Bureau president, and has been active with Farm Bureau for more than 50 years.
Under Anderson's leadership, the Louisiana Farm Bureau grew from nearly 67,000 members in 1989 to more than 148,000 today, according to a news release. In addition to his role with Louisiana Farm Bureau, he serves on the LSU Board of Supervisors, as well as the American Farm Bureau Board of Directors.
“It has been my privilege to serve the organization for this time,” Anderson said. “Throughout the years, I’ve been honored to help the cause of the people who provide our food and fiber every day. I’m leaving with nothing but gratitude to Farm Bureau’s grassroots membership, and no words could ever thank them enough.”
Anderson raises beef cattle, horses, hay and timber on his farm in both East and West Feliciana parishes. He was first elected to the board of Farm Bureau in 1981 and began his term as president in 1989, succeeding James “Jimmy” Graugnard Sr.
“Ronnie has been an indispensable part of not only this organization but to the community around him and Louisiana as a whole,” said Kyle McCann, who serves as assistant to the president at Farm Bureau, the highest staff position in the organization. “He has been a steady force of both change and institutional knowledge at the state and national levels. Even with all he’s done, he’s going to be personally missed by everyone with whom he’s worked over the years, as they know him to be not only capable but personable as well.”
Anderson served as past chairman of the American Farm Bureau Wetlands Study Committee and past member of the American Farm Bureau Trade Advisory Committee. Anderson also serves as chairman of the board of directors for Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Co. and sits on the board of directors for Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance. He serves as chairman of the board of Farm Bureau BanCorp and served on the board of directors of Hancock/Whitney Bank from 1997-2015.
In February 1995, he was named “Man of the Year in Louisiana Agriculture” by Progressive Farmer magazine. He was also honored in 1995 by the LSU College of Agriculture, receiving its Agricultural Alumnus of the Year award. In April 2000, Anderson received the Award of Merit from LSU’s Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society, and in October 2000, he was inducted into the LSU Alumni Hall of Distinction.
He is married to the former Vivian Norsworthy, of Jackson, and has two children, Erin and Ron, and six grandchildren. Anderson and his wife are members of the Ethel United Methodist Church.
Anderson will continue to serve on the Louisiana Farm Bureau board as an ex-officio member through June 2021.