Former Oil-Dri Executive V.R. Swede Roskam Passes Away

V.R. "Swede" Roskam
V.R. “Swede” Roskam

Former Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) President V.R. “Swede” Roskam died unexpectedly in Wheaton, IL, on March 13, 2015 at the age of 85.

Swede was born on October 16, 1929 in Iowa Falls, IA, to Albert Ollie Roskam and Maureen Kathleen Varnum. He graduated from West Waterloo High School in Waterloo, IA, in 1947 and from Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, MO, in 1949. He graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, IL, in 1951 and received a regular commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He served as a Company Commander in the Korean War.

On July 26, 1952 he married the love of his life, Martha Lou Jacobsen in Oak Park, IL, and were married for 62 years. Together they had five children. Swede enjoyed a career in sales with several companies before joining the Oil-Dri Corporation of America where he worked for 45 years. He retired in 2014 as Vice President of Sales.

Swede also served as President of MACA from 1982-1983. He was the first allied industry member to be elected president and served during MACA’s 25th anniversary year. Swede continued to be active in MACA, including being the unofficial photographer at meetings and serving as editor of MACA’s newsletter for a few years.

“Swede was one of those active members who’s enthusiasm was contagious,” said Bonnie McCarvel, Executive Director at MACA.  “He was so proud and excited to be a part of MACA and wanted to do whatever he could do to help the industry. He helped to lay the groundwork which MACA continues to build upon.”

Swede also encouraged his colleague, Terry Kippley, while at Oil Dri, to be active in MACA. Kippley went on to become MACA President in 1999-2000.

“Swede was an original. He had such passion,” said Kippley, who is now Senior Vice-President at Aceto Corp. “He was always on me to be a good father and role model to my family. He always loved to say that life was about choices, and the only thing that matters in the end is what one does for the Lord.”

Swede founded Educational Assistance Ltd., a nonprofit scholarship program that enabled 10,000 students to attend college. In 1986, he and his wife Martha received the Knox College Alumni Achievement Award. In 1988 they received the President’s Volunteer Action Award from President Reagan, the nation’s highest honor for volunteer service.

In 2001, while traveling in Viet Nam, Swede and Martha purchased several U.S. military dog tags that were being sold as souvenirs. Upon their return to the U.S., they hired a private investigator to discover the whereabouts of the American military personnel or their next of kin. They spent several years returning these tags to their rightful owners.

He was an active member of the Glen Ellyn Evangelical Covenant Church in Glen Ellyn, IL. He is survived by his wife Martha Roskam (nee Jacobsen), Stephen Andrew Roskam (Chandler), Jonathan Richard Roskam (Phyllis), Sarah Jayne Roskam, Peter James Roskam (Elizabeth) and Maribeth Roskam Coote (Jonathan) and his grandchildren Jacob Roskam, Mica Roskam, Hilary Roskam, Jonathan Roskam, Lily Roskam, Jayne Averitt, Bryan Simpson (Katie), Hope Simpson, Gracey Roskam, Frances Roskam, Stephen Roskam II, Alec Roskam, Ian Coote, Peter Coote, Jonathan Coote, Jr., and Philip Coote. He is also survived by his sister Vee Anne Roskam Angilley and step sister Delores Stanley Zimmer. He was predeceased by his grandson James Schoales Roskam.

The Visitation is on Friday, March 20 at Hultgren Funeral Home, 304 N. Main St. in Wheaton, IL from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The Funeral service is on Saturday, March 21 at College Church, 332 E. Seminary Avenue in Wheaton, IL at 2:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be sent to support Bible translation as follows:

Payable to Wycliffe Associates, P.O. Box 620368, Orlando, FL 32862

Please include on the check memo: Scott Crickmore/Ministry Account M10445/Roskam Memorial

For more information, visit the Hultgren Funeral Home and Cremation Services Website.




Syngenta Reports 2017 Half-Year Results

Innovation and productivity savings have partially offset weak market conditions for Syngenta in the first half of 2017. The company


Bayer-Monsanto Merger Will Grow, Not Stifle, Innovation in Agriculture

Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto has some critics concerned that the merger would deter innovation in the agricultural sector and impact


DuPont Gets Boost From Farmers With Dow Merger Set to Close

DuPont Co. got a boost from U.S. farmers as it closes in on the historic $75 billion merger with Dow


Dow Executive Named New CEO at Lindsay Corp.

Lindsay Corp. has  announced the appointment of Timothy Hassinger as president and CEO and a member of its board of


Complexity in Agriculture: The Rise (and Fall?) of Monsanto

Sometimes it seems as if the ag world is changing so fast that we can barely keep up with it


ChemChina Participation in Syngenta Exceeds 98% Threshold

Following the purchase of additional Syngenta shares, ChemChina’s participation in Syngenta has exceeded 98% of Syngenta’s share capital. As a


As Drift Complaints Snowball, Tennessee Sets New Dicamba Rules

While stopping short of a ban, Tennessee sets stricter application parameters for the herbicide.


BASF Responds to Dicamba Restrictions in Arkansas, Missouri

"Recent actions taken in Arkansas and Missouri to ban or restrict the use of dicamba herbicides, including BASF’s Engenia, deprive farmers of the one option that has proven effective in controlling this worrisome, yield-robbing issue."


China Launches Anti-Dumping Probe on India Imports

China's Weifang Runnong Chemical claims that India exported MPB at a lower price than the normal value, which has led to continuous price decreases in China’s domestic market.


Dow to Sell Part of Corn Seed Business to CITIC Agri Fund

Transaction marks continued progress in proposed Dow and DuPont transaction.


Bayer, Netafirm Develop New Smart Irrigation Approach

Market launch is planned in Mexico by the end of 2017.

Africa/Middle East

South Africa Conditionally Approves Dow, DuPont Merger

The decision follows recent conditional approvals from global antitrust authorities in Canada and Mexico and from the U.S. Department of Justice on June 15.


Insecticide Seed Treatment Market to Grow to $5.04 Billion by 2022

Neonicotinoids are projected to be the fastest-growing chemical sub-type between 2017 and 2022.


CropLife America: States’ Decisions on Dicamba Premature

CropLife America issued the following statement on July 10: Over the last couple weeks, both Missouri and Arkansas state governments


China’s Exports Drop in 2016

The U.S. and Brazil remain major markets for China’s crop protection exports.


Monsanto Responds to Arkansas, Missouri Dicamba Bans

"We sympathize with any farmers experiencing crop injury, but the decision to ban dicamba in Arkansas was premature since the causes of any crop injury have not been fully investigated."


Missouri Becomes Second U.S. State to Ban Dicamba

Missouri, Arkansas take action to stop sale and use of dicamba following hundreds of drift complaints.


Heads of R&D, Global Operations to Leave Syngenta

Trish Malarkey, Head of R&D and Mark Peacock, Head of Global Operations will leave Syngenta at the end of September 2017.


Arkansas Governor Moves to Ban Dicamba

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on Friday said he has decided to back the Arkansas State Plant Board’s proposal to ban dicamba in the state, as the “volume of complaints justify emergency action.”

Latest News


India’s ‘Protectionist Bent’ for Agricultural Products Delaying FTA with Australia

Australian trade minister Steve Ciobo has said India has adopted a “reasonably protectionist bent” for its agricultural products, delaying any


How The Internet Of Things Is Digitizing Agriculture, Speeding Up Rural Development in India

The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution in India is catching on with increasing government and venture capital investments pouring into


DuPont Pioneer, Evogene Form Research Collaboration for Development of Corn Biostimulant Products

DuPont Pioneer and Evogene Ltd., a leading company for the improvement of crop productivity and economics for the food, feed


Gowan Crop Protection Completes Acquisition of Agrotechnology in Chile

Gowan Crop Protection Ltd., an affiliate of Gowan Co., L.L.C., has announced the completion of its acquisition of Agrotechnology S.A.


Syngenta Reports 2017 Half-Year Results

Innovation and productivity savings have partially offset weak market conditions for Syngenta in the first half of 2017. The company