Dhamu Thamodaran ('83 PhD ag economics), will present the Hertz Lecture on Emerging Issues in Agriculture April 12 at 7 p.m. Thamodaran will be virtual - guests may watch online or in the Sun Room of the ISU Memorial Union.
Thamodaran, retired executive vice president, chief strategy officer and chief commodity hedging officer for Smithfield Foods, has been a respected global leader in the agricultural industry for more than 30 years.
He joined Smithfield in 1995 as director of price risk management and advanced in the organization and was promoted to his current role in 2016. At the time of his retirement in December 2020, Thamodaran led strategy development for Smithfield Food’s vertically integrated business and managed the company’s commodity hedging activities and global economics commodities research and analysis group. During his time with the organization, Smithfield Foods grew to become the world’s largest swine producer and processor.
Thamodaran’s expertise in understanding world agricultural markets, macroeconomics and the pork value chain make him a sought-after speaker nationally and globally at food and agricultural industry events. In 2019, Thamodaran joined the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group’s Agricultural Markets Advisory Council and was awarded the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Henry A. Wallace Award.
During his time at Iowa State University, Thamodaran graduated summa cum laude in his doctorate program. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Gamma Sigma Delta honors societies. An advocate for education, Thamodaran regularly shares his knowledge in university classrooms across the nation. Prior to his time on campus Thamodaran graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1978 from India’s Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and a master’s degree in agricultural economics and statistics from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute in 1980.