From Idea to Reality
Sometimes an idealistic dream may develop and become a reality. Founder of Midamar, Bill Aossey Jr. was born, raised, and attended school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with further studies at Cornell College in nearby Mt. Vernon and graduate studies at the University of Iowa. With the intention of becoming a lawyer in the early 1960's, the foresight of President Kennedy's dream of the Peace Corps took Bill Aossey away from the campuses of Iowa, to Senegal, West Africa for two years. After serving two years in the Peace Corps in West Africa working in water well and rural agricultural development and coaching the National Olympic Wrestling team of Senegal, Bill Aossey and another Peace Corps coach, Carl DeCaspers, from Pennsylvania, decided to travel and explore all of Africa. By the end of the journey, both had managed to not only travel completely around Africa but also continued across the Middle East, through Central Asia, to the Far East and back to the U.S.A. After months of traveling by every means possible, they had visited nearly 70 countries, literally hitchhiking and traveling around the world. Upon Bill's return to Iowa, he never looked back at Law School.
During graduate school, after his return, Bill again interrupted his studies in 1966 to accept a grant and scholarship through the Fulbright Foundation and the Institute of International Education to do an independent agricultural study in South Vietnam on, "Declining Agriculture as Related to Increased Military Conflict." Upon completion of the study in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam, Bill Aossey returned to the University of Iowa to complete his graduate studies in the field of International Development.
Once again, by circumstance, Bill Aossey found his studies interrupted by the opportunity to go to Saudi Arabia in January of 1967 on a technical teaching program; he stayed until 1970. Having spent nearly seven years overseas in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, an observation of the lack of agricultural development and the lack of protein and widespread malnutrition of millions of people in a common global belt became a stark reality. The question arose, "Why can't agriculture, technology and food development from IOWA be transferred to the countries and regions in need?" From this idealistic and humanitarian thought came the reality of an International Development company…Midamar,…MID AM-erican- A-gricultural- R-esearch.
With a global knowledge at a grass roots level and the support of two brothers and three friends, Bill Aossey borrowed US$5,000.00 from each of them to establish an International Development company in 1972. This minimal budget was to cover the office development, compensation, international travel and market research. In 1974, Midamar, had achieved a business and organizational status and, was thereby, incorporated in the State of Iowa.