Barbara Ross worked for the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City for 33 years, first in parish work, and for 27 years as the director of the Social Concerns Office and the director of social services for Catholic Charities under the direction of the local Bishop.
During these years she was also the Rural Life Director for the Diocese and was responsible for organizing social and legislative advocacy, networking with parishes, groups and agencies, following related public policy and regulation, writing and presenting testimony and providing educational presentations to parish and other groups and organizations. A highly regarded “rural life day” was held for over 21 years. This day featured major leaders and thinkers in the area of food, agriculture and environment and looked at the hard agriculture, food and environment questions of the day.
She grew up on a family farm and her family went through and suffered greatly from the farm crisis of the 1980’s. It was a harsh object lesson she has never forgotten.
She was Missouri Farmers Union’s state secretary for ten years and serves on the Policy Committee. Barbara remains active in a number of organizations that work on family farm, food and environment issues.
Barbara retired from her work for the Catholic Diocese as of January 2017. She continues to work with a variety of causes and organizations including Mid-Missouri-Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Missouri Farmers Union, Central Mo. Chapter of Physicians for A National Health Program, Empower Missouri, Jefferson City Area Indivisible and others, she sits on the board of community radio station KOPN 89.5 FM located in Columbia, Mo.
Barbara earned a bachelor’s degree in Social and Community Services from the Univ. of Mo., a second bachelor’s degree in Education from Central Methodist University, and, a master’s degree in Education from the University of Mo.
She lives in Jefferson City, Missouri.