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Rich Kottmeyer



Job Title

Global Agriculture and Food Production Leader


Saint Louis, MO

Are you a Master or a Maverick?

AND. Never give into the tyranny of OR. I am a Master and a Maverick. With the ability for advanced analytics to help mitigate risk, producers and agriculture can both "plow new ground" or innovate while mastering operational excellence. Most other sectors in the food chain have done so already. Ag truly has an opportunity to leapfrog CPG and even retail in the ability to both innovate AND execute. And we must. Hunger or poor nutrition are not options and Food2040 is both an opportunity and a challenge depending on our attitudes.

What is your main concern about the ag industry – currently and in the future? What keeps you up at night?

That we become paralyzed in old school thinking of what is possible or remain concerned that Global Food Security is an issue of threat versus the $1.5 trillion/year sustainable opportunity. When you realize the magnitude of the opportunity, you unleash the natural innovative drive that spurns greatness.

What would you say to policy makers if you had the chance?

We need a new definition of what the word sustainability really means. We need to take a look at the long view. For example, it is not sustainable to have poor farmers whether they are large scale or smallholders. It is not sustainable to have a World where so many people have food insecurity and face hunger daily. It is not sustainable to have policies which discourage production when we face new population, greater health and more wealth. It is not sustainable to have a disconnected consumer from their source of food or we will limit the amount of innovation being used as it seems "unnatural" only because it is misunderstood. And, it is not sustainable to have reactionary policies when the issue at had progresses over the next 30 years.

Similarly, it is not sustainable to panic into doing everything that could be productive in the short term without thinking of whether we can sustain that production 30 years from now.

What Others Have to Say

Being a Master or Maverick
Tim Richter expresses his thoughts on whether he’s a master or maverick of his business.
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What Policy Makers Need to Know
Gregg Halverson shares his thoughts on what policy makers need to know and understand about ag.
Watch video »

On the Issues
Brian Veech discusses what issues about his business keep him up at night.
Watch video »