Grain buyer doesn’t take farmers for granted
Dave Baudler is unusual in today’s corporate world—he’s had just two jobs. The first was working for his father while growing up on an Iowa farm and the second is Cargill, where he has worked for 26 years, now as president of Cargill AgHorizons. In some ways his work isn’t that different from farming. "Both require doing the right thing and asking what the impact will be," says Baudler, who is optimistic about the future. "I believe we do the right thing and our guiding principles are closely aligned with how I grew up. That’s the reason I’ve stayed."
In other ways, Baudler’s job couldn’t be more different than how he grew up. He oversees 1,600 employees nationally who interact with more than 50,000 farmers. Baudler’s division includes 120 U.S. grain elevators and services ranging from crop insurance to hedging accounts to buying grain directly from farmers. "If we ask our employees who our customer is, we get 100% alignment that our customer is the farmer," Baudler says. "For me, having grown up on a farm, that means a lot."
"Production growth elsewhere is not a threat, but a need," the Cargill Executive says. Worldwide demand for food is growing dramatically, which requires leaps in output not only from the U.S., but also South America, the Black Sea region, and even Africa.
- March 2013