Morningside names Tyson executive to leadership role in new ag and food studies program

Dec 10, 2013

Morningside College has named Tyson Foods executive Chris Benson of Dakota Dunes, S.D., as director of the college’s new Applied Agricultural and Food Studies Program.

Benson, who begins his new position at Morningside in March 2014, will have overall administrative responsibility for the Applied Agricultural and Food Studies Program and also will teach agribusiness courses. Morningside will begin accepting students into the program in the fall of 2014.

“Having someone with Chris’ experience and knowledge of agriculture and food production is a tremendous asset for our new ag and food studies program,” said Morningside President John Reynders. “His agribusiness connections and understanding of this key segment of the economy will benefit students who are interested in pursuing a wide range of careers with companies involved directly or indirectly in food production.”

Benson has 20 years of agribusiness experience. After graduating from Morningside College in 1994 with a double major in agribusiness and economics, he started working for IBP.  Benson has held several managerial and executive positions with IBP and later with Tyson, the most recent as vice president of value added meats.

The applied agricultural and food studies major at Morningside is designed to give students broad exposure to scientific, cultural and business principles related to agriculture. Students in the program also can combine the ag studies major with a minor in areas such as environmental policy/law, sustainable agriculture, general business, political science or journalism.

The Applied Agricultural and Food Studies Program will be based in a new classroom building under construction on the Morningside campus.