2008 Citation of Merit: Brett Begemann
BRETT BEGEMANN joined the Monsanto Company immediately after graduation from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural economics. Since then, he has risen to lead one of its most important global divisions. He currently is Executive Vice President for Global Commercial Operations.
Begemann grew up on a livestock and grain farm and he is actively involved in Missouri agriculture through personal farm ownership. He graduated from MU in 1983 and joined Monsanto as a sale representative in Minnesota. He later served the company in a variety of posts, including marketing, commercial development and management in both U.S. and international markets. At one point in his career, he headed the company’s expanding Asian Pacific business.
Monsanto is a $66 billion company with more than 19,000 employees in more than 60 nations. As Executive Vice President, he has responsibility for Monsanto’s global row crop business including agriculture growth areas such as South America and Asia.
Begemann is a member of CAFNR Vice Chancellor’s Leadership Council and is a previous Reich Executive-in-Residence. He serves as an informal advisory to several levels of the college and is known for responding to requests for help within 24 hours, no matter how small the request. He makes time to meet and mentor the CAFNR John Brown Scholars who visit Monsanto each January.
He is also a member of the CAFNR Monticello Society. He helped bring MU and Monsanto together to fund the Life Sciences Incubator that enhances life science development throughout the state.
Begemann takes a special interest in undergraduate students who qualify for summer internships and monitors their progress. He almost always participates in the Ag Alumni Tiger Ag Classic and the Ag Unlimited Banquet and Auction.
"ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I HAVE FOUND IMPRESSIVE ABOUT BRETT IS HIS FOCUS ON PEOPLE. AS HE SPEAKS ABOUT HIS CAREER, MONSANTO AND THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT HE CARES DEEPLY ABOUT OTHERS AND HAS GREAT COMPASSION. I’M TRULY GLAD TO KNOW THAT SOMEONE LIKE BRETT IS AT THE HELM AT MONSANTO AND IS MAKING IMPACTFUL DECISIONS."
— Stephanie Chipman, director of career services
MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources