MOUNT VERNON — The Patriotic Memorial Committee has announced Fred L. Dailey as the 2009 Memorial Day speaker.
An eastern Ohio farm boy, Dailey was appointed by Gov. George Voinovich in 1991 to the post he held for 16 years — director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Dailey provided leadership for Ohio’s No. 1 industry — agriculture — and administered numerous regulatory, food safety and consumer protection programs for the benefit of all Ohioans. As part of his duty to protect the public, he served on the State of Ohio Security Task Force. He is the longest serving ag director in Ohio history.
Dailey’s formal education and job experience include a B.A. degree from Anderson University, where he majored in political science and history. He earned his master’s degree in public administration from Ball State University, graduating summa cum laude. While in college, Dailey was president of the College Republican Club, captain of the wrestling team, and president of the senior class.
Following graduation, Dailey worked for the Department of Corrections and was later hired by the U.S. Treasury as a sky marshal during the hijacking crisis. In 1975, Dailey was appointed director of the Indiana Division of Agriculture and served in the capacity for six years. In 1982, Dailey returned to his native state and for the next nine years served the Ohio beef industry as executive vice president of the Ohio Beef Council and executive secretary of the Ohio Cattleman’s Association.
A combat veteran, Dailey served as a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam and the 82nd Airborne Division in the United States. Dailey is a former rodeo cowboy and an amateur mountaineer. Dailey has scaled two of the seven continental summits: Mount Elbrus (former USSR) and Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa).
Dailey is past president of both the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture. He is also past president of the Mid-America International Agri-Trade Council. Dailey has received the Honorary American Farmer Degree from the FFA, and in 1998, the national Outstanding State Agriculture Executive award presented by the Biotechnology Industry Organization. In 1999, Dailey was named Man of the Year by Progressive Farmer magazine.
Dailey served as an advisory member of the Bush-Cheney Agricultural Transition Team and, in 2002, was appointed by President Bush and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the chairman of the Federal Agriculture Mortgage Corporation (Farmer-Mac).
The Patriotic Memorial Committee also announced Anna Kinnard will be the 2009 parade grand marshal.
Kinnard is a Gold Star Mother, a longtime member of the Patriotic Committee and served several terms on the Mount Vernon City Council.
The Memorial Day Parade will begin on East High Street at 10:30 a.m. The program will follow on Public Square.