For more than 40 years, Bob Benson has worked in the agricultural industry, both as a respected professional and, perhaps more importantly, as a tireless volunteer, taking on leadership roles for the benefit of several different sectors of agriculture. Purdue weed science professor Thomas Bauman says of Benson, "I consider him to be one of the best agricultural ambassadors that I know."
After graduating from the Ohio State University in 1956 with a B.S. in Agricultural Education, Benson spent 8 years as a county extension agent in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. From 1964 until 1991, he worked for the Monsanto Agricultural Company, retiring as a Senior Development Associate in Product Development and an Environmental Affairs Specialist / Field Sales. Currently he serves as Director of the Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency.
During his career with Monsanto, Benson was a leader in the Indiana Plant Food and Agricultural Chemicals Association (IPFACA), servIng as both Chairman of the Board (1989) and as Treasurer (1990-1993), and in the North Central Weed Control Conference, where he was president from 1982-1983 and was named an honorary member in 1988. During his service to IPFACA, he led the effort to establish the Crop Diagnostic Training and Research Center at Purdue. Cresswell Hizer, IPFACA President and CEO, says of Benson's leadership, "He led the industry into a new era of environmental stewardship via his work in product storage and containment that protects the environment today." In recent years, Benson has devoted his efforts to the Indiana and U.S. sheep industry. He has served the Indiana Sheep Breeders Association as President, Vice-President and Treasurer and has been Indiana's representative on the board of directors of the American Sheep Industry Association, where he has served on the Legislative Action Council. Closer to home, Benson serves as the ring announcer for the Indiana State Fair Sheep Department and works with loca14-H exhibitors as a director of the Hamilton County Sheep Producers. Benson's service to the sheep industry has earned him a Sagamore of the Wabash citation.
Benson's service to his community is also exemplary and transcends the boundaries of agriculture. He has served his church, Christ United Methodist, as finance chairman and as a trustee. Currently he is a member of the Indianapolis East District Finance Committee. A 27-year member of Lions International, he has served his local club in every office, was District Governor (1983-1984) and was named a Melvin Jones Fellow, Lions International's highest award.