Distinguished AgEcon Alumni

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John Becherer

M.S., Agricultural Economics, 1987, Purdue University

Becherer Photo

John Becherer is the Chief Executive Officer of the United Soybean Board (USB), which is headquartered in Chesterfield, Missouri. He was raised on a dairy farm in central Wisconsin and has strong ties with the agricultural community. John has more than 25 years of management experience.

John is a distinguished leader in the agricultural community having won the 2008-2009 Ag Leader of the Year award from the St. Louis Agribusiness Club. Each year, the club selects a person who has made a substantial contribution to the agriculture industry in the St. Louis region, either on a local or national scale. John also won national recognition with the 2012 Agribusiness Leader of the Year award from the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA). A 2009 return-on-investment study found that the soybean checkoff has returned $6.40 in additional profits to U.S. soybean farmers for every dollar invested.

John served as the senior director of development and programs for the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) at West Lafayette, Indiana. CTIC is a clearinghouse for technological infonnation on soil conservation, water conservation and water quality. John was named senior director of CTIC in July 1991 after serving as executive director since 1988.

Prior to working for CTIC, John worked as a consultant for Demeter Inc., the nation's 10111 largest merchandising firm. The position helped him develop an international view of the challenges that face soybean farmers today.

John graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1971 with a degree in economics. He managed a construction company in Milwaukee for 14 years, directing its successful marketing program and serving as general manager.

He returned to school in 1986 and earned his master's degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University in 1987. While at Purdue, John worked on various agricultural-related projects for both the university and private industry.

John describes himself as a consensus builder and views his position at USB as an opportunity to continue his career-long interest in helping producers farm more profitably.

USB consists of 69 soybean producers appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and are charged with the responsibility of investing soybean checkoff funds to benefit U.S. soybean producers. John directs the implementation of USB' s over $100 million annual collections budget that develops international and domestic markets; finds new soybean uses; conducts soybean production research; and implements communications activities. John serves as an outside spokesperson for USB, meeting with industry and government officials as well as soybean producers and agricultural groups.


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