Note: The following letter was sent to Land O'Lakes, Inc. member-owners from Chairman of the Board of Directors Pete Kappelman on the morning of July 26:
It is my privilege to inform you that the Land O’Lakes, Inc. Board of Directors met yesterday and voted unanimously to name Beth Ford as Land O’Lakes, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer. In choosing Beth, who is currently serving as Chief Operating Officer of Land O’Lakes Businesses, our Board has underlined our confidence in our co-op and our belief that we are on a positive and valuable trajectory. The news will be announced publicly later this morning, but we wanted you all to be among the first to know.
For those of you who don’t know Beth’s background, she comes to the President and CEO role after a series of successful executive postings within Land O’Lakes, Inc. In December 2017, Ford was named Chief Operating Officer of Land O’Lakes Businesses, in which she oversaw Land O’Lakes’ Dairy Foods, WinField United and Purina Animal Nutrition business units. Prior to that, Ford was head of Land O’Lakes’ Dairy Foods and Purina Animal Nutrition businesses, and during her tenure she led record performance, leveraging innovation through R&D to strengthen the Purina brand, and leading record growth in the Dairy business. She was key in identifying the opportunity to acquire Vermont Creamery in early 2017.
Prior to joining Land O’Lakes in 2011, Beth had excelled in executive operations management and supply chain roles at International Flavors and Fragrances, Mobil Corporation, PepsiCo and Pepsi Bottling Company and Scholastic. She also has more than 20 years’ experience specifically in the areas of technology and R&D across four companies.
Beth is a midwestern native. Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Beth earned a BBA at Iowa State University and an MBA at Columbia University Business School and remains involved in both universities, sitting on the Deming Center Board of Advisors for Columbia Business School and the Dean's Advisory Committee for the College of Business at Iowa State.
In addition, Beth is a leader in our industry and our communities. She sits on the Board of Directors for the National Milk Producers Federation and non-profit boards, including Greater Twin Cities United Way in Minneapolis. She also sits on the boards of directors of two publicly traded companies, including PACCAR, Inc.
On the personal side, Beth and her spouse, Jill Schurtz, have three teenage children and live in Minneapolis.
Beth will begin her tenure as President and CEO next Wednesday, Aug. 1, and will have an opportunity to address Elected Leaders at the Aug. 8 Mid-Year Meeting.
I look forward to Beth’s undoubtedly successful tenure as she works on each member’s behalf.