The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) is pleased to announce that Rick Richter of Maxwell, Calif., has been elected NAAA president for 2011. He is the operator of Richter Aviation Inc., which he owns with his wife, Brenda.
Richter has been an aerial applicator since 1979 and an operator since 1983. He has a fleet of four Ag-Cats that he and his pilots used to seed more than 33,000 acres of rice in 2010. In addition to rice, they treat alfalfa, almonds and wheat.
Rick’s youngest son, Nick, just finished his first season as a pilot for Richter Aviation and is one of two full-time employees. The company employs 12 to 14 people during the busy season. Rick and Brenda also farm 450 acres of rice.
‘Pinnacle Of My Career’
Richter completed NAAA’s Leadership Training Program in 2002. He has served in various leadership roles within CAAA, including chairman in 2006-2007.
He joined the NAAA Board as the director representing CAAA in 2008. Richter became NAAA’s vice president in 2009 and has served on several NAAA committees, including Research and Technology, Budget and Finance, Government Relations and the Convention Committee.
In 2010, Doug Chanay, who served as NAAA president on the same officer team as Richter, asked him if he would consider running for NAAA president in 2011.
“When I was approached by Doug, I was very humbled,” Richter says. “In this business, it’s probably the highest honor anyone can give to his peers. And to be the voice of the aerial application industry for the entire nation has to be the pinnacle of my career.”
The 2011 NAAA Officer Team
Serving with Richter on the 2011 NAAA officer team are vice president Mark Hartz of Almyra, Ark., secretary Chip Kemper of Rigby, Idaho, and treasurer Perry Hofer of Doland, S.D.
Hartz is the co-owner of Grand Prairie Dusters Inc., a two-airplane operation that has been in business for 22 years. Hartz and his business partner, Scott Goetz, operate from a municipal airport and have the added responsibility of managing the airport.
Hofer and his wife, Linda, own Doland Aerial Spraying, which has been in business for the past 15 seasons. As the sole pilot, Perry sprays winter wheat, spring wheat, corn, soybeans, pasture and rangeland.
Kemper is the president and owner, along with his wife, Mary, of Queen Bee Air Specialties Inc. in Rigby, Idaho. He has been the managing officer in the company for 10 years.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Richter said of his duties over the next 12 months. “We’ve got a great group to work with. It’s going to be exciting and rewarding, and I’m just looking forward to working for the Association in 2011.”
The NAAA, Washington, D.C., contributed information for this article.