Bill Gross, of Cleveland, N.D., is the founder and CEO of Farm Rescue, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping farmers who have experienced a major illness, injury or natural disaster. The organization began in 2006 and gives families a chance to continue their livelihood during unexpected crises, by providing the necessary equipment and manpower to plant or harvest their crop, free of charge. Bill grew up near Cleveland, N.D.; he attended college at the University of North Dakota and began his career as a pilot for Pan American World Airways. However, his heart never left the family farm and rural way of life. Bill kept thinking of the changing demographics of rural America and it troubled him; he vowed to himself to help farmers back home. He started with one sponsored tractor and air-seeder, using his vacation days from UPS to help farm families, along with soliciting donations and recruiting volunteers to grow the organization. The organization has since evolved into a regional nonprofit organization that plants and harvests crops in five states with hundreds of volunteers. More than 200 families have been helped in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Iowa, since the inception of Farm Rescue. Bill says the best part about Farm Rescue is that: "It has created an avenue for individuals and businesses to help farm families during times of crises." Bill Gross has been featured as a CNN Hero, People Magazine: Heroes Among Us, DirecTV: Small Town Heroes, Humanitarian of the year and received numerous other awards and accolades. He continues to serve as the President of Farm Rescue and Chairman of the Board in a volunteer capacity, while conducting his full-time job as a Boeing 747 Captain, flying worldwide for UPS Airlines.
Year Inducted: 2013