The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) welcomes four new industry leaders to serve on ARA’s board of directors in 2013. The new board members were also recognized at the ARA conference near the end of last year and a few have already started to participate in board activities.

“ARA appreciates the time and effort provided by the directors who rotated off of the board at the end of 2012. With their support and guidance, our organization had a strong year marked by achievements in the policy arena, membership growth and increased participation from current ARA members,” said Daren Coppock, ARA president and chief executive officer. “We welcome our new board members and the wisdom and experience they bring to the association’s decision-making process.”

Mark Frerichs


ARA welcomes new board membersMark Frerichs joined FMC Agriculture Products in 2004. He has been the director of U.S. Sales and Tech Service for the past four years, responsible for continued growth of the crop business. Frerichs has more than 32 years of agriculture experience that includes holding leadership positions with companies like American Cyanamid, BASF, Sandoz, Velsicol and Mobil Chemical.

Frerichs was raised on a grain and livestock farm in north-central Kansas and received his degree in 1979 from the University of Nebraska. He will serve on ARA’s Member Services Committee and Security Working Group.

A.K. “Dooie” Leach

FCI, Inc.

ARA welcomes new board membersA.K. “Dooie” Leach is the President of FCI, Inc., an agricultural service company in Raeford, N.C. His professional career in agriculture began as an operations manager for FCI’s fertilizer division in 1981, and he was elected President and CEO of FCI in 1988 after his father’s passing. Leach also serves on the Board of Directors of Hoke Cotton Warehouse and Storage, Inc., Cotton Transport Services, Inc., 3-L Investments, Inc. and ChemNut, Inc.

Leach received a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from North Carolina State University in 1981 and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Elon College, Love School of Business in 1997. He is also a graduate of the Philip Morris Agricultural Leadership and the National Cotton Council Leadership Development Programs.

John Oster

Morral Companies

ARA welcomes new board membersIn 2010, John Oster joined Morral Companies, in Ohio, specializing in wholesale and national account sales for the United States and Canada. Morral produces, distributes and markets a wide array of upgraded agricultural products to various segments of the agriculture industry, with a strong focus on production agriculture and related products and services. Previously, Oster also held various positions in sales and operations for Yara North America, Growmark, Agway, D. W. Dickey and W. R. Grace & Company. During his 23 years with W. R. Grace, he was regional consumer sales manager in charge of 60 consumer sales facilities and 80 commissioned agents in a seven-state region encompassing the upper Midwest.

Oster attended Indiana University and majored in education before joining W. R. Grace. He plans to serve on ARA’s Communications Committee.

Bill Rowland


ARA welcomes new board membersBill Rowland is the BASF regional manager for the Midwest and a member of BASF's U.S. Crop Leadership Team. As regional manager, Rowland’s role is to lead the six district teams covering Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska, with responsibilities for sales of BASF crop protection products.

Rowland is a native of Bevier, Mo., and a graduate of the University of Missouri with a degree in agriculture. He has more than 30 years of agricultural work experience including previous roles in sales and marketing with Monsanto, Sandoz and Novus International.

Rowland currently serves on the ARA Member Services Committee.

For a complete listing ARA’s board of directors, visit the ARA website at