4 Thought Leaders Who Pioneered Agriculture

April 10, 2013 10:39 PM

These leaders have transformed the corporate side of agriculture, from the ethanol industry to land auctions.


To say that agriculture has experienced change since the inception of Top Producer is a gross understatement. The 30 brave thinkers we have chosen to represent the dramatic changes during the past three decades have all left big footprints on production agriculture.

BaileyPamela Bailey. As president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies, Bailey is a huge influencer of policy and consumer attitudes. The initiatives she moves forward or rejects have a trickle-down effect on farmers and can influence production and/or certification requirements, regulations and labeling. Bailey worked in the White House for three presidents, including President Barack Obama who appointed her to his Advisory Committee for Trade and Policy Negotiations in 2010. She serves on the board of GS1 US and is vice chair of the Partnership for Food Safety Education.

BroinJeff Broin. One of Broin’s primary motivations to get into the ethanol business was to add value to corn. "When we entered the business in the mid-1980s, corn was selling for $1.30 per bushel," Broin says. "The future of agriculture looked very bleak." Broin’s father began producing ethanol on his Wanamingo, Minn., farm. He ultimately mortgaged the farm to buy a foreclosed ethanol plant in South Dakota. Broin, then 22 and fresh out of college, began managing that plant. Those humble beginnings led to the creation of Poet. Based in Sioux Falls, S.D., Poet is one of the nation’s largest ethanol producers with 27 ethanol plants producing 1.7 billion gallons of ethanol per year. While Broin has been committed to the commercial development of the industry, he’s also been a tireless champion for favorable ethanol policies, often testifying before Congressional committees as an industry leader.

DoylePatrick Doyle. As president and CEO of Domino’s Pizza, Doyle has been partnering with dairy producers for several years to develop and promote dairy products through Domino’s pizza offerings. There are several dairy-centric products in development because of this collaboration. Doyle is leading the charge for restaurants to engage farmers in transparent sourcing of quality food products. "With the dairy industry’s help, we are reinventing our brand and the pizza category, which had been declining," he says.

Rex Schrader. A lifelong auctioneer from Indiana, Schrader pioneered and constructed what he calls the M3 or Maximum Marketing Method land auction process. This method ensures the seller the best price possible by pooling parcels differently to see which combination brings the most money. Today, almost every farmland auction in the country is conducted in this manner. He also managed the first on-line multitract auction on the Internet simultaneously with the live auction in March 2000.


We know agriculture’s advancements in all its myriad forms have not been accomplished by just 30 people. Read the complete list: Brave Thinkers: 30 Leaders Who Made a Difference

Who advanced agriculture the most during the past 30 years?
Cast your vote at TopProducer-Online.com/Brave_Thinkers

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