The American Seed Trade Association presented Sonny Beck with its Honorary Member Award during the 129th Annual Convention in Maryland last week. Honorary Members have distinguished themselves in many ways, through leadership, vision and service.
“Honorary Members truly represent the best of the best,” said Mike Gumina, ASTA chairman and vice president of production, safety, health and environment/risk management for Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. “My choice this year is no exception.
“Sonny has become a much-beloved living legend in this business. As president of Beck’s Superior Hybrids, his business philosophy emphasizes quality, service and the importance of agronomic research to the future well-being of the American farmer. Most importantly, Sonny is a farmer. He wears boots, blue jeans and a collared shirt every day to work.”
Sonny would much rather be on a tractor than in a boardroom, Gumina said.
Beck has been supportive of ASTA and a key player in the organization. He has served in numerous ways including Soybean Seed Division chair, Central Regional vice president, ASTA president from 2002-2003 and as First-the Seed Foundation Board of Directors member.
He told HAT, “I was humbled by the honor because of all the people who have gone before me that have been in that class. But I’m just absolutely thrilled by it. I’ve enjoyed working with ASTA and other teammates there and other seed companies.”[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/06/Sonny-Beck-on-ASTA-honor.mp3|titles=Sonny Beck on ASTA honor]
During the past 30 years, Beck and his family have conducted practical farm research studies in an effort to help farmers grow better crops. He was one of the first to establish long term no-till studies on corn and soybeans in Indiana, and his lifelong goal as a farmer is to be able to raise a “fence row” crop on all his fields.
Although Beck’s Hybrids only markets in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky, they have become the sixth largest U.S. seed company and the largest family-owned retail seed business in the United States.