NABC Executive Director David Bauermeister to Retire
David Bauermeister, executive director of the Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC), has announced his retirement effective September 1, 2022.
Bauermeister and his team have grown NABC into a leader in Washington agriculture, making a lasting impact on how farmers access markets. Under his leadership NABC was instrumental in the launch of the Northwest Cider Association. During the height of the pandemic when creative solutions were sought to connect farmers with consumers, NABC also provided technical assistance to successfully launch new food hubs in Southwest Washington, the San Juan Islands, and for Whidbey Island.
Known for his collaborative skills, Bauermeister has worked closely with government agencies including the Washington State Department of Commerce, USDA and WSDA, as well as numerous nonprofits such as the Whatcom Community Foundation and Skagit Community Foundation. He has responded to producer needs to expand NABC’s services to 12 counties, as well as developed new initiatives to support farmers who traditionally have been underserved.
“Providing equal opportunity for all farmers has always been important to me. The NABC board of directors and staff take this very seriously and know this means being proactive. I am proud of the work we have accomplished together, particularly the launch of the Latinx Business Development Program and our other efforts to better reach and serve members of underserved communities.”
Raised on a wheat farm east of Connell in eastern Washington, agriculture has always played a big role in Bauermeister’s life. He graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Agronomy. Bauermeister had a career in agri-business before he switched to non-profit work as the Director of Natural Resources for the Spokane Regional Chamber of Commerce.
He joined NABC in 2006, shortly after its formation, and served as the organization’s first executive director. “I was immediately interested in the job. I thought it was a great opportunity to jump in and have a service role within the agriculture industry. That really appealed to me,” he said. “Plus I have always loved the Skagit Valley. It is a gorgeous valley, and is simply a great place to live.”
Bauermeister contributed years of his experience and knowledge to build NABC’s offering of business consulting services and training. This has established NABC as a “can do” organization, providing technical assistance to farmers to be more profitable and maximize their capabilities as value-added producers.
“Speaking for not only myself but for the other members of the Board, clients past and present, we want to thank David for his tremendous leadership and guidance of the Northwest Agriculture Business Center,” said Bruce Gregory, president of the NABC Board of Directors and one of the original directors who first hired David. “His quiet demeanor, sharp mind, and humor, traveled well with his tireless dedication over the years. We are extremely grateful to David for his vision and commitment. His impactful energy, work, and willingness to go into so many projects and travel through sometimes crazy schedules, has grown the organization and the value-added agricultural landscape that has helped hundreds of farming families realize their dreams.”
During his time with NABC, Bauermeister served on numerous boards himself, including Genuine Skagit Valley, Whidbey Island Grown Cooperative, Northwest Cider Association and Cider Institute of North America and San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild.
“David was instrumental in the growth of the cider education program in collaboration with Washington State University in northwest Washington. He also provided leadership in the establishment of the Northwest Cider Association, that has been foundational for cider makers throughout the Pacific Northwest.” According to NABC Board Member Carol Miles, Director, WSU Mount Vernon Northwest Washington Research and Extension Center. “David has earned a life-time supply of cider from the industry that he was instrumental in supporting!”
Mike Peroni, currently assistant director for NABC, has been named the new executive director.
David and his wife Janet, plan to enjoy retirement by spending more time with their 10 grandchildren, as well as working their own farm in the Skagit Valley.