RFA mourns industry pioneer Raymond Defenbaugh

By Renewable Fuels Association | January 23, 2020

The Renewable Fuels Association mourns the loss this week of longtime board member Raymond Defenbaugh, who was a founding member, president, CEO, and chairman of Big River Resources, with facilities in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Defenbaugh served on the RFA board since 2005 and was a member of its Executive Committee.

“Ray’s contributions to rural America, the ethanol industry, and RFA are truly immeasurable, and he tirelessly endeavored to improve the lives of farmers and the livelihood of communities across the Midwest,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “He leaves behind a legacy of uncommon wit and wisdom. We will miss Ray’s jokes and clever stories, which usually ended with a valuable moral or lesson. Ray also had a special talent for uniting people and stimulating cooperation, and his leadership always helped the industry get through trying times.”

In addition to his service at RFA and Big River Resources, Defenbaugh also held leadership roles at Absolute Energy, LLC; the U.S. Grains Council; the National Grain and Feed Association; the Illinois Renewable Fuels Association; the Urban Air Initiative; the American Coalition for Ethanol; and Growth Energy, among others.