Since 1986, when he took over the business started by his father and uncle with $200 million in sales and 200 employees, Rosen has quietly, prudently and successfully taken Rosen’s Diversified Inc. (RDI) to sales of $3.5 billion and 5,000 employees while creating a work environment that values collaboration, innovation and support of the communities where it is located.
Tom Rosen’s father, Elmer Rosen, and his uncle, Ludwig Rosen, founded RDI in 1946 when they came home from military service after World War II. They began by buying livestock in rural areas and hauling it to St. Paul, Omaha and Sioux City. In the late 1950s, Elmer began selling feed, fertilizer and chemicals to farmers. As the business grew, they continued to expand and in 1974 the Rosens purchased a livestock packing facility which marked RDI’s entrance into the beef-processing industry.
Tom Rosen is a native of Fairmont who attended Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. He earned a degree in business administration in 1970 along with playing on the Chiefs basketball team for four seasons. After working as a sales representative for Marion Laboratories, Rosen joined RDI’s agricultural chemical division in 1973. He was named operations manager of the agribusiness division in 1982 and promoted to president in 1986. In 1991, he was appointed chief executive officer of RDI.
As a vertically integrated company, RDI operates the fifth largest beef processing company in the country, conducts a fleet of 500 semi-trailer trucks and has a complete line of performance pet products as well as agricultural chemical and fertilizer businesses. RDI is Minnesota’s second-largest privately held agribusiness company and one of the nation’s largest 200.
Tom Rosen’s success as a business leader is only surpassed by his success in advancing understanding of the importance of agriculture to the state and the nation. He is a longstanding member of the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Business Partnership. In 2006 he was named to the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame.