Phil Anderson was raised on a diversified grain and livestock farm in Clinton County, Indiana. He was active in both FFA and 4-H, receiving state and national honors, including serving as Indiana FFA State Northern Region Vice-President in 1979-80. He graduated from Purdue University in 1983 with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics in the Sales and Marketing option.
He has spent most of his career as an association executive, representing agricultural commodity and producer groups. He served as the Executive Director of the Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) from 1985 to 1991. For the next two years, he was the Communications Director for the American Veal Association. Since 1988 he has also served as the Executive Director of the Indiana Veal Promotion Committee. In 1993 he was named Executive Vice President of the Indiana Beef Cattle Association (IBCA).
As Executive Vice President of IBCA he has led the organization to its all-time high in membership and, from 1993 to 1996, implemented a strategic plan that reversed a serious financial crisis and took IBCA to its strongest financial position ever, one that included operating reserves. He has forged new partnerships to benefit Indiana’s beef industry, including leading efforts to coordinate beef programs and resources through the Five State Beef Initiative, and he has worked with Purdue University to refocus Indiana’s Beef Improvement Programs into programs like Indiana Quality Plus (IQ+) BEEF, Indiana Beef Evaluation and Economics Feeding (IBEEF), the On-Farm Carcass Performance Program, and the Indiana Farm Fresh Beef program, all of which serve to improve the marketability of Indiana beef cattle and help Hoosier cattlemen capture more value from their products.
Anderson is a graduate of the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Program and has served the Indiana Agricultural Leadership Institute both as chairman of the Ag Forum programs from 1999 to 2000 and as a member of the Board of Directors. He used his coalition building skills to found the Indiana Land Use Consortium, which he chaired during its first five years, and to help create the Indiana Ag and Natural Resources Land Use Working Group, which he chaired from 1997 to 1999. He was a member of the Team Ag Steering Committee for the World Trade Organization Listening Session held in Indianapolis in 1999. He was vice-chairman of the Governor’s Indiana Millennium Celebration for Agriculture in 1999-2000. In 1999 he spearheaded an effort to conduct an industry-wide Indiana Ag Leadership Summit. He is a member of Purdue’s Animal Science Advisory Council, and he is on the board of the Center for Agricultural Science and Heritage.
Anderson’s service extends to his community as well. He is active in St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, where he has chaired the Liturgy Committee and has served as a cantor/soloist in the choir. He is a member of the Purdue Chapter of Delta Upsilon International Fraternity where he has served as Alumni Secretary and Strategic Planner, leading to construction of a new chapter house. He is a member of the Carmel Club of Rotary International where he served as club president in 1995-96, District Governor’s Representative 1997-99, and District Trainer 2000-01. Since 2000 he has been a 4-H project leader in Hamilton County.
In 2001 Governor Frank O’Bannon honored Phil Anderson as a Distinguished Hoosier. Anderson’s impact on Indiana agriculture was best summed up with these words from his nominators: “His unselfish commitment and passion to do the right thing for his state, industry and community are an example for all to follow.”