Lawrence “Sonny” Beck was appointed to the Board of Trustees on July 19, 2013. He is president of Beck’s Superior Hybrids in Atlanta, Indiana, where his business philosophy emphasizes quality, service, and the importance of agronomic research to the future well being of the American farmer. Under his direction, Beck’s Superior Hybrids has grown to become the largest family-owned, retail seed company in the United States.
Beck is a Purdue alumnus, having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy and a Master of Arts degree in agricultural economics. When he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in 1962, he became the first College of Agriculture student to receive Purdue's G. A. Ross Award, presented annually to the outstanding graduating senior man and awarded based on scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Beck was also awarded the Purdue University Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award in 1992, and he received an Honorary Doctorate of Agriculture from Purdue University in 2007.
Beck currently serves on the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He is also vice president of the Purdue Ag Alumni Seed Improvement Association and a founding member of the Purdue FarmHouse Fraternity Foundation board. Beck has held a variety of other leadership positions within the agriculture industry, including president of the American Seed Trade Association, president of the Indiana Crop Improvement Association, a charter member of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture Advisory Board, and a member of the Purdue Agriculture Dean’s Advisory Council.