When we look out our windows here at Augsburg to the freeways and Minneapolis skyline, it’s easy to forget that the agriculture and food business is one of the leading economic indicators for our state. Agriculture has always played a critically important role in Minnesota’s economy and culture—in many meaningful ways, Minnesota is still “farm country.”
Chris Policinski, President and CEO of Land O’Lakes, will speak to the Augsburg College about American agriculture and how it serves our country and the world. Policinski’s presentation is titled, “The Great Productivity Story of American Agriculture and Why It Must Continue.” The lecture will be held Thursday, April 1 at 5 p.m. in Kennedy Center, room 303.
Outside the Twin Cities in greater Minnesota, one out of every three jobs is linked to agriculture. Food and agriculture production accounted for 22% of our total exports in 2008, and these exports bring $12 billion or more into our economy every year. And agribusiness purchases many of its supplies locally, benefiting businesses throughout the state. According to the U of M extension service, more than any other industry, Minnesota agribusiness is closely linked with other Minnesota supplies. So when agriculture is strong in Minnesota, we all benefit.
The richness of our agriculture has made Minnesota home to many of the largest multi-national agribusinesses in the world. These leading companies do business around the world, in developed countries with strong farm industries and in emerging countries that struggle to produce enough food to feed their people. Our featured Strommen Executive Leader Series speaker leads one of those flagship businesses. Chris Policinski is president and CEO of Land O’ Lakes, Inc., a privately owned food and agriculture inputs company which does business in the U.S. and more than 50 countries and has sales of over $12 billion.
Policinski has over 30 years of experience in the food industry and joined Land O’Lakes in 1997 as its Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. He later became the Chief Operating Officer of the Dairy Foods business unit and was appointed President and CEO in 2005. Prior to joining Land O’Lakes, Policinski held leadership positions with Kraft General Foods, Bristol Meyers Squib, and The Pillsbury Company.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Milk Producers Federation, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign, Excel Energy, the Greater Twin Cities United Way, and the Carlson School of Management Board of Overseers.
Policinski earned his MBA degree from New York University and his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.