With profound sadness, the Furst-McNess Company announced the passing of its board of directors’ chair emeritus and former chief executive officer, Frank “Ned” Furst. Ned passed away unexpectedly but peacefully at his home October 24, 2021, at the age of 82. The Furst-McNess team extended its deepest condolences to his daughters Martha, Susan and Betsy, family members and many friends and loved ones.
Ned was the grandson of Frank E. Furst, co-founder of the Furst-McNess Company, and was the epitome of a lifelong leader within the agricultural community who cared deeply for the company, its employees, and customers. He served on the board of directors of the American Feed Industry Association, as well as enjoyed other industry activities.
“In the short time I have been at McNess, I have been honored to get to know Ned,” said Mark Poeschl, current president and CEO of Furst-McNess Company. “Ned always expressed a deep affection for the company and all the employees.”
Furst retired from Furst-McNess earlier this year after leading the company for more than five decades, as president and CEO from 1970 to 2000, and chairman of the board from 1986 to 2021. Ned was instrumental in driving the core values of quality and safety throughout the company and was an outspoken advocate for innovation in all aspects of product development and customer service.
Memorials have been established in Furst’s honor at the Freeport Art Museum, The Boys & Girls Club of Freeport & Stephenson County, and the Family YMCA of Northwest Illinois.