Roger Underwood, an agricultural entrepreneur and co-founder of crop-technology company Becker Underwood Inc., will present the 2016 Carl and Marjory Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture April 7 at Iowa State University. Underwood, known for his business acumen and entrepreneurship, will speak on: “Your future is short. Don’t waste it working for someone else.” He will start his lecture at 7:30 p.m. in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union on the Iowa State campus. The event is free and open to the public.
A graduate of Iowa State with a bachelor’s in agricultural business, Underwood founded Becker Underwood in 1982 with high school classmate Jeff Becker. Together they developed a specialty colorant to mix with Roundup herbicide. Becker Underwood diversified into a global company producing specialty seed colorants and coatings and biological crop protection products. The company grew to $265 million in sales by 2013 and was sold to BASF.
An interesting perspective and knowledge of ag business
Underwood is involved in many agricultural and philanthropic pursuits in support of Boy Scouts, TKE fraternity, Iowa State and many other organizations. He is an active founding limited partner in The Rural American Fund and serves as a board member at Kent Corp., Albaugh Chemical, Lacrosse Seed and Mississippi River Distilling.
Underwood was named Order of the Knoll Outstanding Young Alumnus, received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Floyd Andre Award and the Iowa State Cardinal and Gold Award. He is a member of the ISU Foundation Board of Governors and chaired Campaign Iowa State, the university’s $867 million fundraising campaign. He and his wife Connie provided a $1.5 million cash gift to establish the entrepreneurship program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
The Carl and Marjory Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture was created in memory of the founders of Hertz Farm Management to inspire generations of industry leaders, research scientists and young professionals to reach their full potential.