Sander Ludeman

x2010 Production Agriculture

Sander Ludeman’s contribution to production agriculture as a producer in the soybean industry is unparalleled and immeasurable. His work spans nearly 30 years and has resulted in a growing, prosperous soybean industry not only for Minnesota, but for the nation as a whole.

A native of Tracy, Minnesota, Ludeman earned his B.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Minnesota in 1969 and shortly afterward purchased his first farm in southwest Minnesota. Today, the multi-generation Ludeman family corporation named SanMarBo Farms, Inc. consists of 2,800 acres and is involved in corn and soybean production as well as finishing 15,000 hogs a year. Ludeman and his wife, Peggy, and his two brothers and their wives also own Coyote Ridge Farms, a 2,100 acre operation in Minnesota and South Dakota.

Ludeman was first elected to the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council in 1978. He served 15 years on the council including three years as chairman. In 1984, he chaired the effort to have Minnesota become the first state to move to a two-cent checkoff—a voluntary self-help program designed to help producers increase profits by investing in research and promotion programs. While the 1984 proposal lost by a small percentage, it challenged Ludeman to lay the groundwork for a national program. In 1985, he was elected to the American Soybean Development Foundation, serving as president in 1989-1990. Securing the necessary federal legislation as part of the 1990 Farm Bill, he became the founding chairman of the United Soybean Board in 1991. He led a national campaign committee that won farmer approval in a nationwide vote in 1994.

In addition to his soybean work, Ludeman is a nationally recognized steward of the land and a leader in conservation practices. Because of their efforts at SanMarBo Farms, Ludeman and his family have received numerous awards for the implementation of waterways, contours, shelterbelts, living snow fences, and wildlife plantings. As one letter of support described Ludeman, “He does more than just ‘do’ conservation, he shows by example and tries to instill in others the need to protect our resources for future generations.”