Distinguished AgEcon Alumni

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David D. Anderson

B.A., Agricultural Economics with Distinction, Purdue University

Anderson PhotoThe Team Builder

Seeds are like computers—no one wants to buy last year’s laptop. To stay competitive, Dow AgroSciences relies on David Anderson and his team to project what growers will want in the next growing season and to have it ready to meet the demand.

“Sometimes it’s a little like guessing what the next Tickle Me Elmo toy will be 18 months before Christmas,” Anderson says.

Once corporate direction is set, Anderson turns strategy into action. A member of the company’s Global Operations Team, he directs the planning and supply process, growing field operations, production, processing, and distribution. He is responsible for significant budgets and a sizable workforce globally, and his job involves regular travel to South America, Mexico, and Europe.

“One thing that stands out in my mind is going to a remote place in Brazil, 20 miles down a dirt road from a paved road, and appreciating the scope of agriculture,” he says. “It was a good opportunity to think about the systems we have in place to organize and manage something that’s so spread out.”

Throughout his career, Anderson has used his approachable style to build effective teams and programs that have improved worker safety and job satisfaction; improved operational processes and efficiencies; and advanced seed production technologies and seed quality standards for canola, corn, sorghum, soybean, sunflower, and wheat on a global scale.

Mentoring has been a key component of his influence in the industry. He crosses departments or organizations to find curious, energetic people and then helps them maximize their strengths. One colleague who drove around South America with Anderson for a week concluded, “You’re a control freak, but you’re not a micromanager.”

Anderson’s interest in seeds germinated on his family’s farm in Montgomery County, Indiana. When he’s not on the job, he enjoys time with his wife, Marisa, and three children ages 7 to 14—and he is an avid Purdue sports fan.

I had a lot of interaction with the people at Purdue University through 4-H, FFA, and family. Then, as president of the Purdue Foundation Student Board and freshman class president–Purdue Student Association, I had opportunities to further develop leadership skills.


B.A., Agricultural Economics with Distinction, Purdue University

Akin Seed Company
1986–1990, AgriGold District Sales Manager, East Central Indiana
1990–1996, Location Manager, Kankakee, Illinois
Vice President, Production, AgriGold/Callahan Seed Company

Vice President, Production, AgReliant Genetics, LLC
Delegate, U.S. Grains Council

Global Seeds Operations Director, Dow AgroSciences


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