Saying farewell to a friend of agriculture

Secretary Ross with Dutch Counselor for Agriculture Ton Akkerman.

One person can make a difference and sometimes we don’t have the time to say goodbye. It is with great sadness we say goodbye to our dear colleague and friend from the Netherlands, Mr. Ton Akkerman who passed away suddenly last month.

Ton was Dutch Counselor for Agriculture at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington D.C. He was instrumental in our first Climate Smart Agriculture mission, which was to the Netherlands in 2015. This mission was important to further our understanding of how agriculture is adapting to climate change in other regions of the world. Ton sat beside the Netherlands Minister of Agriculture during our discussions and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, and he guided us through every stage of our visit in the Netherlands.

Ton Akkerman (far right) during a visit to CDFA headquarters last September.

We remember Ton’s warm smile, his intellectual thinking, and how he made the delegation feel comfortable and welcome through every aspect of our trip. Since then he had continued to work with us closely to further our relationship.

Ton opened other key collaborations at the Dutch Consulate in San Francisco that we continue to develop very closely. He will be greatly missed but we know he has left us in good hands, and we will always remember him in the years to come as we continue our work to build our international collaboration. He certainly made a big difference in our lives.



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2 Responses to Saying farewell to a friend of agriculture

  1. Victor Tognazzini says:

    Thank you Secretary Ross for your farewell tribute on Ton Akkerman. John Donne’s Poem seems fitting,

    “No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thine own
    Or of thine friend’s were.
    Each man’s death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.”

    His passing diminishes each of us, but as you wrote, “…we know he has left us in good hands.

  2. wagdesign says:

    Goodbye, farewell, and amen. 🙁

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