Ron Wesen, 53, is a 4th generation dairy farmer and businessman. Three generations of the extended Wesen family operate an organic dairy and a Centennial dairy farm in the Bow-Edison area. Ron met his wife Jan at college where they each earned degrees before returning to the Wesen Farm. They have been happily married 30 years.
Ron Wesen has risen to a leadership role in every organization in which he has served beginning in high school. He has had the opportunity to represent and advocate for our agricultural community in both Olympia and Washington, D.C. World-wide travel has given him valuable perspective about how our Skagit values and quality of life can be sustained as our community grows and changes.
A Leader in the Making
Ron Wesen is a 1977 graduate of Burlington-Edison High School where he was elected Associated Student Body Vice President and President of his Senior Class. During high school, he served as President of the Burlington Chapter of the Future Farmers of America and as FFA District 1 President. Ron also joined the Washington Holstein Association and was later honored with the Young Breeder Award in 1988.
Ron Wesen graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Louis Obispo, in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree. While there, he served as President of the Dairy Club. Even with a challenging college schedule, Ron also earned an FFA American Farmer Degree in 1980.
He furthered his education through acceptance to the Ag/Forestry Leadership Program Class 22. This in-depth two-year program is designed to develop natural resource industry leaders in Washington State as part of a national program network. The curriculum focuses on industry issues and in the first year, closely examines how local, state and federal governments function; the second year explores international issues and provides an opportunity to travel and interface with foreign industry and government leaders.
Ron Wesen has frequently traveled to other states to examine different ideas and issues impacting people and to assess how they approach solutions. He has also traveled extensively in Europe, South America, Australia, Mexico and Cuba - studying these countries’ governments, cultures, agricultural systems, and trade policies.
Dedicated to Leadership
Ron Wesen has been fully involved in the family dairy operation with his parents and three brothers since 1982. Despite this firm commitment to farming, Ron continues on the leadership path begun in high school and still serves the Skagit community in many ways.
Ron Wesen is a tireless advocate for property rights and preserving our natural resource based industries. He represents property owners, the dairy industry, and Skagit County agriculture at the local, state and national levels in a variety of capacities:
In addition to the activities listed above, Ron has a record of serving the broader Skagit community on important issues.
Ron Wesen has served as President of both the Burlington-Edison School District Vocational Advisory Committee and the Ag Vocational Advisors Committee. He was also part of the Facilities Evaluation Committee for the district.
Ron participates in the monthly Skagit Ag Leaders’ Breakfast meeting where the many Skagit agricultural organizations share information and discuss approaches to community challenges.
From 2003 to 2005, Ron Wesen participated in the Ag Fish Tribal Summit. This process ended with a consensus agreement between the agricultural community and the Swinomish Tribe surrounding land use and salmon habitat issues.
Ron is an elected Commissioner for Skagit County Drainage and Irrigation District 16. (a special taxing district) In this capacity, he and his fellow commissioners oversee the maintenance, operation and finances of the drainage infrastructure serving the district’s landowners and farmers.