Keith Spackler has received the 2021 Citation of Merit from the CAFNR Alumni Association as part of its annual awards. Spackler is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ag Processing, Inc. (AGP), a leading agribusiness cooperative owned by 146 cooperatives representing more than 250,000 farmer-owners. AGP is a $4 billion company with more than 1,000 employees in the U.S. – the world’s largest cooperatively owned soybean processing company. He joined AGP in 1985 and has held progressive positions in business analysis, strategic planning and finance. Spackler was named CEO in the fall of 2012.
He serves on the executive committee of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, and as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership (GICL) at the University of Missouri. Spackler received both his BS (’79) and MS (’85) in Agricultural Economics from Mizzou.
“Keith’s contribution to AGP is well documented and supported by the financial results the company has enjoyed during his tenure with the company,” said Ernie Verslues, President and CEO, MFA Incorporated. “The results are unmatched in company history. Bigger than contribution at AGP is Keith’s impact on the cooperative and agriculture community in the Midwest, United States and specific areas worldwide. His efforts don’t stop at the door step of AGP or at 5 p.m. on Friday.”
“During Keith’s tenure as CEO, AGP’s performance, financial strength, growth and value-added to the farm gate are truly remarkable,” said Joe Parcell, director of the Division of Applied Social Sciences, and Michael L. Cook, Partridge Chair of Cooperative Leadership and GICL’s executive director. “Keith is an especially strong supporter of cooperative education and CAFNR’s Graduate Institute of Cooperative Leadership, a research-informed education program for agricultural cooperatives. As chair, Keith initiated discussions about the need to invest in GICL’s future. He launched an initiative to raise funds in support of hiring new research and Extension faculty to expand GICL’s programs and impact. In less than one year, from conception to implementation, Keith has successfully raised approximately $1 million in pledges to CAFNR. Keith is directly responsible for the success of this capital campaign, which will have an immeasurable and lasting impact on CAFNR and its ability to deliver timely communications for cooperative leaders on relevant, recent research findings.
“Keith is an exceptionally talented and wise leader. He epitomizes the character, core values and work ethic that best represent CAFNR. Keith finds ways to help others without waiting to be acknowledged. He is a true Missourian and an emblematic Tiger.”
Citation of Merit is given each year by the CAFNR Alumni Association for professional attainment by an alumnus.