At the 86th Oregon Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Salem, OFB President Sharon Waterman honored the memory of Don and Sally Kruse of Douglas County Farm Bureau with an OFB Memorial Award.
“In the Farm Bureau family, we remember grassroots leaders who’ve inspired us with their dedication, integrity, and heart. We’re proud to honor Don and Sally Kruse, longtime members of Douglas County Farm Bureau, with an OFB Memorial Award to recognize their many years of outstanding service in their lifetimes,” said OFB President Sharon Waterman.
The award was accepted by Don and Sally’s grandson Evan Kruse, outgoing president of Douglas County Farm Bureau, on Dec. 6.
Don was raised on a family farm in Roseburg that was established in 1923 by his father H.B. Kruse. The farm grew crops for the wholesale produce market.
In 1948, Don left Roseburg to attend Oregon State University, which was where he first met Sally, the love of his life.
Don and Sally returned to the farm and got to work as the second generation to run the family business. They were married in September of 1950 in between prune and walnut harvest.
Don, Sally, and the generations of Kruses to follow grew the family farm from 15 acres into 500 acres raising 60 different crops and orchards, along with launching a thriving farm market.
Besides being a successful farmer, Don was also the heart and soul of Douglas County Farm Bureau for many years. He served as president and in most every other leadership capacity at the county level.
“Don was known for his extraordinary work ethic, innovative spirit, and determination, all of which helped expand Farm Bureau’s membership, impact, and influence in the region,” said Waterman.
Longtime OFB staffer Dennis Myhrum said, "Don was a great man. He was considered 'Mr. Farm Bureau' in Douglas County and was very well respected."
Don’s dedication to Farm Bureau is a family tradition that spans multiple generations. His grandson Evan Kruse is active in Douglas County Farm Bureau and at the state level with OFB. Evan is also the fourth generation to work on the family farm in Roseburg.
Don passed away on May 13 at the age of 87. He was laid to rest next to his wife Sally in Roseburg.