Executive-in-Residence Program

Upcoming Executive

Laura Furgione, March 18-19, 2024

Envisioned and endowed by the generosity of the Robert O. Reich family, this one-on-one interaction offers a rare life experience for students and the Executive-in-Residence. Through class lectures, roundtable discussions, one-on-one meetings and other informal interactions, students learn first-hand about career paths and choices they may not have dreamed possible.

The program, inaugurated in February 1997 by faculty and staff as a collaborative learning experience for students, takes place in an informal environment that allows participation to be spontaneous and infectious.

Anyone can nominate an industry leader to be part of the Executive-in-Residence program; the program’s board extends invitations to two executives each year – one in the fall and one each spring.


Through the generosity of the Robert O. Reich Family, CAFNR is proud to present the Professor-for-a-Day program, which brings industry professionals (many alumni of CAFNR) to campus to interact with students, faculty and staff.

The program strives to:

  • Create a collaborative learning experience for students in an informal environment
  • Allow students to interact with CAFNR alumni and take away valuable lessons
  • Encourage the executive to share views on business, leadership and his/her tips for being successful in the real world

About the Robert O. Reich Family

It seems only natural that the growing of vegetables would come to benefit the continued growth of people, industry and interaction with the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

August Reich arrived from Germany near the end of the 19th century, settling just east of the boom town of Kansas City, Mo. He began providing for his family with a small truck/garden operation.

As business grew, so did the Reich family. August and his wife produced eight children. Sons Walter, Bill and Robert O. joined their father in what became A. Reich and Sons Gardens, Incorporated, a nationwide horticultural crop producing business and wholesale food supplier.

Meanwhile, Kansas City was growing along with the Reichs; they responded by developing the Blue Ridge Shopping Center and a successful financial institution, Blue Ridge Bank and Trust.

Curiosity and the excitement of experimentation is at the heart of education. These factors are central to an endowment given to the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources by the wife of Robert O., Mildred N. Reich. In a letter to the University, she said, “Education is more than studying books. Young people need exposure to those with experience and knowledge. That exposure is where a lot of your true education takes place. The University has meant a lot to our family through the years. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a long time.”

Robert O. Reich died in 1961. Mildred Reich passed away in 1992. Their son, Robert R., passed away in 2009. His wife and loved daughter-in-law of the Reich family, Carol Reich, continues their legacy and ideals. Through their generosity and interest, this special Reich family gift is opening new avenues of communication providing a stimulus for students to strive harder as they work toward becoming tomorrow’s leaders in agriculture.

Wamwari Waichungo, Vice President, Global Safety Assessments & Regulatory Affairs, SC Johnson, Nov. 9, 2023

Susan L. Combs, Author & Entrepreneur – Hotel & Restaurant Management, October 4-5, 2023

Steward Pickett, Distinguished Senior Scientist – Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, March 19-23, 2023

Ernie Verslues, President and CEO, MFA Incorporated, April 12-13, 2022

Cathy East, Vice President of Procurement: Meat/Seafood/Deli for Albertsons Companies, Nov. 6-7, 2019

Blake Hurst, Missouri Farm Bureau President, April 3-4, 2019

Kellie Bray, Chief of Staff for CropLife America, Feb. 21-22, 2019

Craig Bacon, Senior Vice President of Technical Services for Simmons Prepared Foods, Oct. 10-11, 2018

Tyne Morgan, Host, U.S. Farm Report, Sept. 19-20, 2018

Sarah Geisert, Former Sr. Director, Head of Global Product Safety and Regulatory Affairs General Mills, Inc. – Innovation, Technology and Quality, April 4-5, 2018

Jeff Watson, Entrepreneur and Investor, Nov. 2-3, 2017

Mark Fenner, President and CEO of MFA Oil, March 22-23, 2017

Sara Parker Pauley, Director, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Oct. 5-6, 2016

Roger Gardner, Executive Vice President/Chief Culture and Communications Officer at Learfield Sports, April 11-13, 2016

Dr. Wamwari Waichungo, Vice President, Global Scientific and Regulatory Affairs at The Coca-Cola Company, Oct. 20-21, 2015

Kelly Rosenkrans, Director U.S. Affiliate Innovation at Elanco, March 16-18, 2015

David Hill, Executive Vice Present and General Counsel, NRG Energy, Inc., April 10-11, 2014

Matthew Wood, CEO, SCD Probiotics, Sept. 24-25, 2014

Bill Streeter, President and CEO, MFA Incorportated, Oct. 28-29, 2013

Susan Brauner, Director of Public Affairs, Blue Diamond Growers, April 22-24, 2013

Everett Forkner, Owner and President of Forkner Farms, Inc. and Truline Genetics LLC, April 4-5, 2013

Michael D’Ambrose, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Oct. 25-26, 2012

Richard D. Maltsbarger, Senior Vice President of Strategy for Lowe’s, April 9-10, 2012

Dr. Karl Brooks, US EPA Region 7 – Regional Administrator, Nov. 17-18, 2011

Christine Cochran, President of Commodity Markets Council, April 12-13, 2011

David White, Chief, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, Feb. 16, 2011

William Buckner, President and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP and a member of the Executive Committee of Bayer CropScience AG, Nov. 12-15, 2010

Dr. Larry Case, CEO and National Advisor National FFA Organization, Nov. 9-10, 2009

Carl Hausmann, chief executive officer, Bunge North America, April 9-10, 2009

Steve Barr, chief executive officer, Osborn & Barr, Oct. 6-7, 2008

Joseph C. Roetheli, chief executive officer, Key Companies and Associates, LLC, April 14-15, 2008

Frank Day, director of commodities operations, The Hershey Company, April 9-10, 2007

Brett Begemann, executive vice president, International Commercial, Monsanto Company, Feb. 28-March 1, 2007

Gary Myers, president and CEO, GaryMyers+Associates, LLC, Oct. 9-10, 2006

Roger W. Krueger, Seed Quality & Seed Regulatory Lead, Monsanto Company

Robert K. Dixon, Head, Energy Technology Policy Division, International Energy Agency

David A. Forsee, President & CEO, MachineryLink, Inc.

Kenneth J. Roberts, Associate Administrator, United States Department of Agriculture

Lise A. Herren, Vice President & Group Executive, Anheuser-Busch Packaging Group

Alexander C. Kemper, Chairman & CEO, Perfect Commerce, Inc.

Kristin M. Perry, President, Perry Agricultural Laboratory, Inc.

Ted C. Jacoby, Jr., President & CEO, T.C. Jacoby & Co.

Morris Burger, Chairman & CEO, Burger’s Ozark Country Cured Hams, Inc.

Bruce W. Read, Director & CEO, Birmingham Zoo, Inc.

Mary Schon, Manager of Science Communication, Walt Disney World: Epcot

R. Crosby Kemper, Jr., Senior Chairman of the Board, UMB Financial Corporation

Lowell Miller, Senior Vice President, retired, Marion Laboratories, Inc.

Jake Halliday, President & CEO, ABC Laboratories, Inc.

Gary E. Hanman, President & CEO, Dairy Farmers of America

Dr. Charles T. Bourland, Food Research Scientist, retired, National Aeronautics & Space Administration

Timothy R. Daugherty, President, North American Grain Division, Farmland Industries, Inc.

Brent Kyte, President & CEO, Pizza Hut of Arizona, Inc.

John R. Peppel, Vice President, Animal Nutrition, Cargill, Inc.

Gerald L. Chrisope, Founder, President & CEO, GyneLogix, Inc.

Robert V. “Bob” Miller, Chairman & CEO, Miller Meester Advertising

Hendrik A. Verfaillie, CEO, Monsanto Company

David E. McCaslin, President, MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, Inc.

John T. Hanes, President, John T. Hanes Company

C.L. William Haw, President & CEO, National Farms, Inc.

Keith G. Boyer, President & CEO, WILFARM, LLC

Sonja Hillgren, Editor, Farm Journal

Alvin E. McQuinn, President & CEO, Ag-Chem Equipment Co., Inc.