Prior to retiring from The McKnight Foundation in early 2015, Ron served for nine years as a program officer and program director for the Foundation's Mississippi River Program. He currently is a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture's Endowed Chair Program where he is conducting a video archiving project. The project features interviews with people who played key roles over the past three decades in the formation and development of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Before coming to The McKnight Foundation, he served as executive director of Minnesota Environmental Partnership, a coalition of nonprofit groups focused on strengthening Minnesota's environmental and conservation policies. In 1982 he co-founded the Minnesota-based sustainable agriculture organization, Land Stewardship Project, serving as executive director for 11 years.