Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford, from the cornfield to the C-suite

Beth Ford: From the Cornfield to the C-Suite at Land O’Lakes

Like many successful leaders, Beth Ford’s journey to the C-suite was not a straight and easy path. Born and raised in a small town in Iowa, Ford grew up working on her family’s farm, where she developed a deep appreciation for agriculture and a strong work ethic.

After earning a degree in political science from Iowa State University, Ford began her career in the food industry, working for companies such as PepsiCo and Scholastic. In 2011, she joined Land O’Lakes, a farmer-owned cooperative based in Minnesota, as the head of the animal nutrition division. Over the next few years, Ford quickly rose through the ranks, taking on various leadership roles within the company.

In 2018, Ford made history when she was named the CEO of Land O’Lakes, becoming the first openly gay woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. Under her leadership, the company has seen significant growth and success, with Ford earning praise for her strategic vision and strong leadership skills.

One of Ford’s key priorities as CEO has been to focus on sustainability and innovation in agriculture. She has launched initiatives to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, improve water quality, and support sustainable farming practices. Ford has also been a vocal advocate for diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, leading to Land O’Lakes being recognized as a top employer for LGBTQ employees.

Despite her success, Ford remains humble and grounded, often citing her upbringing in the cornfields of Iowa as the foundation of her values and work ethic. She is known for her hands-on approach to leadership, often visiting farmers and employees in the field to better understand their needs and challenges.

Ford’s journey from the cornfield to the C-suite is a testament to the power of hard work, perseverance, and a strong sense of purpose. As she continues to lead Land O’Lakes into the future, one thing is clear – Beth Ford is a force to be reckoned with in the world of agriculture and business.
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