It is with deep sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of Gus Schumacher, a long-standing member of GrainPro’s Board of Directors, on Sunday, 24 September 2017 due to heart failure.
From 1997 to 2001, Gus served the US Department of Agriculture during the Clinton administration as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. But for Gus, his many accomplishments don’t compare to the brilliance of his life’s work.
Gus was a food activist by heart. His down-to-earth approach and willingness to reach out made him a major driving force in American agriculture and food access. He pioneered federal programs to make fresh and affordable food more accessible to those who can’t afford them.
This led to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women and Infants and Children (WIC), a program that makes it possible for low-income consumers to buy fresh fruits and vegetables directly from farmers at a highly subsidized price.
Gus’ influence extends far and wide into farming communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America, where most of the world’s food is produced and most losses on food occur.
His concerns over the future of global food security led to his joining as a member of GrainPro’s Board of Directors in 2001. As a GrainPro Board Member, Gus worked to promote the use of hermetic technology as a viable and affordable storage solution for smallholder farmers, especially in the developing world.
“He was very much a sparkplug – Gus pushed us and brought ideas to the table,” says Phil Villers, GrainPro President and CEO, on reminiscing about Gus’ time in the company. “We definitely lost an ally who cares genuinely for low-income families and smallholder farmers around the world.”