We’re going to miss the hat and the man that wore it. Sort of like seeing at least one Rovey family member at an ag-related event, meeting or gathering, when you saw Kevin Rogers’ hat you knew you had a quorum, so to speak.

Yesterday, Arizona agriculture got the heartbreaking news that Kevin left us for the bigger and better place in the sky. Did you hear it? To me, it was like a crack in the universe. If we’re all still processing this, you know Janel and the kids are moving through this with the pain of trying to understand it; gathering all their past experiences and moments, hoping to hold all of them forever; praying they forget nothing about the one they love. Our heartfelt prayers join theirs pursuing peace and hope.

A fourth-generation Arizona farmer, he didn’t just advocate for agriculture, he celebrated it, talked regularly about it, and so often spun the story of it around youth. He loved kids; he loved his kids: Taylor, Kevin Gary and Morgan.

As the Executive Vice President of the Arizona Cotton Growers Association, his cotton farmers are mourning this loss too. We all are.  Kevin also served as Arizona Farm Bureau President for 14 years, from 2003 to 2017. Kevin’s other leadership roles in numerous agriculture organizations included the FFA Foundation, Arizona National Livestock Show, 4-H, Arizona Pork Council and numerous others.

My earliest time meeting Janel and Kevin was when Project CENTRL, Class 7, met to begin the 2-year leadership course (at the time). As every alum from Project CENTRL does, Kevin and I were proud to proclaim Class 7 as our number. Immediately I knew I was gaining friends I’d never disconnect with. And when my Public Relations Director predecessor left Farm Bureau, I got a call from Kevin. I’m a better person for having known him.

He was always working a room (better than a politician could because it was sincere; real), always connecting people, always smiling. Always smiling when watching Janel and his kids.

Kevin is our example. If you ever wondered what it meant to advocate for an important cause and needed a profile to understand, look at Kevin. If you want to have the enthusiasm to do it right, look at Kevin. If you want more joy in what you do for agriculture, look at Kevin.

We’ll carry his legacy forward. We owe him that. We’ll miss the hat and the man that wore it.