MANHATTAN, KANSAS, US — Mark Fowler, vice president of global technical services for US Wheat Associates (USW), died suddenly at his home on Feb. 20 at the age of 52.
Fowler, who for many years wrote milling operations articles for World Grain, joined USW in 2017 and helped promote US wheat.
“Mark’s passing is a great personal and professional loss for our organization and the wheat farmers we serve,” said Vince Peterson, president of USW. “Mark embraced his work and our mission with enthusiasm. As a result, our technical experts are better equipped and motivated partners for our many customers across the world. Our most sincere sympathy goes out to Mark’s family and to the wheat community he loved.”
Fowler grew up on his family’s farm near Emporia, Kansas, US. He received a bachelor’s degree in milling science and management from Kansas State University (KSU), and later returned to complete a master’s degree in agricultural economics.
His career began as a flour miller first for Cargill and then Seaboard Corp. In those roles, Fowler ran flour mills, worked on projects in several developing countries, including Ecuador, Guyana and Haiti, and worked as a technical director of the Africa Division within Seaboard’s Overseas Group in Durban, South Africa. Later, he spent 12 years at KSU as a milling specialist and associate director at the IGP Institute, in the university’s Department of Grain Science and Industry.
As a highly respected flour milling expert, Fowler also served as a technical milling consultant for USW, as well as the Northern Crops Institute, allowing him to become well acquainted with many USW staff and overseas customers. His articles on technical milling appeared in World Grain four times a year from 2005 to 2014.
Before joining USW, originally as vice president of overseas operations, he was president and chief executive officer of Farmer Direct Foods, Inc., a farmer-owned, flour milling company in New Cambria, Kansas, US.
“Throughout my career, I have experienced the global impact of the milling industry from several perspectives,” Fowler said when he joined USW. “I am excited to engage with friends and colleagues in the industry to advance the US wheat export market development mission.”
Justin Gilpin, CEO of Kansas Wheat, worked with Fowler in various capacity over the past 20 years,
“His impact and network of friends reached around the globe,” Gilpin said. “He was a strong asset to the US wheat industry and farmers, and a friend that will be dearly missed.”
Fowler is survived by his wife, Courtney, their daughters, Piper and Paige, his mother, Ruth Fowler, and his sisters, Rhonda (Scott) Gordon and Amy Fowler. Funeral services will be held Feb. 25 at 10:30 a.m., at the College Avenue United Methodist Church, 1609 College Ave, Manhattan, Kansas. Obituary and memorial information will be posted at https://www.robertsblue.com/. Condolences also may be sent to robertsblue.com, mailed to Kansas Wheat, 1990 Kimball Ave, Manhattan, KS 66502, or emailed to email@example.com to be shared with the family.