Roger Underwood

Roger Underwood
Agricultural Business
Year Graduated: 

Roger Underwood has been selected to receive the 2018 Alumni Medal Award. The Iowa State University Alumni Association established this award in 1948 to recognize Iowa State University alumni for long loyal service to the university through alumni-related activities. It is the premier award given to alumni by the ISU Alumni Association.

The university-wide awards ceremony, sponsored by the Alumni Association, will take place on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, during the ISU Honors & Awards Ceremony. 

Roger Underwood is an entrepreneur who co-founded crop-technology company Becker Underwood Inc. in 1982 with high school classmate Jeff Becker. Together they developed a specialty colorant to mix with Roundup herbicide.

Becker Underwood diversified into a global company producing specialty seed colorants and coatings and biological crop protection products. The company grew to $265 million in sales by 2013 and was sold to BASF.

Underwood is involved in many agricultural and philanthropic pursuits in support of Boy Scouts, TKE fraternity, Iowa State and many other organizations. He is an active founding limited partner in The Rural American Fund and serves as a board member at Kent Corp., Albaugh Chemical, Lacrosse Seed and Mississippi River Distilling.

Underwood was named Order of the Knoll Outstanding Young Alumnus, received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Floyd Andre Award and the Iowa State Cardinal and Gold Award. He is a member of the ISU Foundation Board of Governors and chaired Campaign Iowa State, the university’s $867 million dollar fundraising campaign. He and his wife Connie provided a $1.5 million cash gift to establish the entrepreneurship program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. 

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