Love of country brought Jeff Spence to Romania.
Jeff, like a lot of other people felt a rush of patriotism after the
terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers, so he searched for an
Born and raised
near Minneapolis, in Vernon Center, Jeff has developed a strong agricultural
For starters, he grew up on a farm managed
by his father and mother, Stan and Grace. Then he took a job out of
high school working for a neighboring farmer. In 1974, when the farmer
lost an arm in an accident, Jeff took over management of part of the
A dream of going to law school was quietly shelved.
Jeff stayed on to help the farmer for another year and then moved on
to managing an agronomy plant. He began moving up in that company,
too, the college dream fading in favor of a career. From 1981 until
2003, Jeff managed operations for Cenex Harvest States and some of
their affiliated coops in Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana. He became “a
turn-around specialist” helping return operations to profitability,
managing some of the largest coops in the upper Midwest.
After the attacks
on New York, he echoed John Kennedy’s line
about “ask what you can do for your country.” He joined
the Peace Corps in 2003, and was trained for service in East Europe.
He was in Romania for training in June 2003 and then sent to Vurpar.
In a way, he is
a pioneer for the Peace Corps. They have not developed their agricultural
program very much and Jeff’s strong “ag” credentials
mean he will be able to move the program along considerable, to the
great benefit of the people of Vurpar, a virtual diamond in the rough,
for a guy with Jeff’s training and experience.