Dana Ness of Rudyard, Mont., Elected 2013 NAAA President

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jay Calleja
Phone: (202) 546-5722
Email: jcalleja@agaviation.org

News Release: Dana Ness of Rudyard, Mont., Leads NAAA’s 2013 Officer Team

ALEXANDRIA, VA – FEBRUARY 8, 2013 – The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) is pleased to announce that Dana Ness of Rudyard, Mont., has been elected President of NAAA for 2013. Ness is the owner of Ag-Air Inc., a chemical retailer and aerial application business that operates in Rudyard and Chester, Mont. Ness has two piston Air Tractor 301 ag aircraft, which he and another pilot fly, and about 40 percent of Ag-Air Inc.’s work comes from aerial application services. Wheat represents 90 percent of the dry land farming in Ness’s area of Northern Montana, and he farms 900 acres of wheat himself.

NAAA President Dana Ness stands next to his agricultural aircraft.2013 NAAA President Dana Ness flies one of Ag-Air Inc.'s piston Air Tractor 301 aircraft and a pilot he employs flies the other plane.Ag-Air Inc. was started by Dana’s father, Buster Ness, in 1963 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Ness first began fueling, cleaning the windshield and washing his father’s ag aircraft at Ag-Air Inc. when he was six years old. Since those early beginnings in the industry he has been an ag pilot, managed an aerial application operation, held all leadership positions of the Association of Montana Aerial Applicators (AMAA) and served on the NAAA Board for nine years, including as NAAA Treasurer in 2009 and Chairman of the Membership Committee last year. Ness is also a community leader who has served as a volunteer firefighter for 19 years and is the current chief of the Rudyard Fire Department.

Ness is a quiet but effective leader whose actions speak louder than his words. To those who know him inside the aerial application industry, his accomplishments, steadfastness and consistency are obvious. “Dana is soft-spoken and quiet in regard to his achievements,” AMAA Executive Secretary Colleen Campbell said. “Although he is very deserving of the NAAA presidency, he would be the last one to pat himself on the back.”

Mark Hartz, Ness’s predecessor and NAAA’s 2012 President, said, “Dana Ness is an astute individual, who by his willingness to serve NAAA as its president for 2013 will work to ensure NAAA continues on its mission of advocacy for our industry. Our association will be well served with Dana as our president.”

For his part, one of Ness’s major goals as president is to increase NAAA’s membership even more by reminding members and non-members of NAAA’s value. “There is not a more reputable brand in the industry than the NAAA. The brand has helped us grow; for me it’s all about continuing the momentum,” Ness said.

Serving alongside Ness on NAAA’s 2013 officer team are Vice President Rick Boardman of Boardman Aerial Spraying, Henderson, Neb.; Secretary Doug Davidson of Davidson Solid Rock Insurance, Clinton, Ark.; and Treasurer Brenda Watts of K & P Flying Service, Watson, Ark. NAAA’s full Board of Directors consists of 42 State, Regional and Allied Industry Directors, the NAAA officer team, the WNAAA  and NAAREF Presidents, the immediate past treasurer and last five past presidents, as well as numerous committee appointees.

The National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) represents more than 1,800 members in 46 states. NAAA supports the interests of small business owners and pilots licensed as professional commercial aerial applicators that use aircraft to enhance food, fiber and bio-fuel production, protect forestry and control health-threatening pests.