Honorary Degree

Robert M. Book

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Robert M. Book

Doctor of Agriculture

Robert Book is a leader in the field of agricultural marketing and president of AgriVista, Inc., providing marketing services to agricultural and food processing companies. With a career spanning over 60 years in the agricultural industry, and more than 35 years of active and reserve service in the U.S. Marines, Book has demonstrated a life of service to his community and country.

After completing his bachelor's in animal science from Purdue in 1952, Book earned an MBA from Indiana University and completed the Senior Executive Program at Colombia University. 

Book became a driving force behind Elanco Products Company, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, when he joined as a sales representative in 1955. After retiring in 1983 as group vice president of agricultural marketing, he became the first president of The Indiana Institute of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition, Inc., a nonprofit economic development and educational organization, serving until 1992.  

Board positions benefiting from Book's expertise include the Farm Foundation, Neogen Corp. Inc., Ag Alumni Seed, U.S. Feed Grains Council, National FFA Foundation, among many others.  

Book traveled on trade missions to Europe and the Mediterranean, and during the Reagan administration accompanied the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on market development trips to Central and South America, Mexico, Korea, Japan, China, Poland and the Soviet Union.  

Book received the Domestic Achievement Award from the American Soybean Association, the 1979 National Marketing Man of the Year Award from the National Agricultural Marketing Association, the Veteran's Day Council Commendation from the Veteran's Administration, and the Certificate of Merit for Leadership and Best of the Best Leadership Award from the White River Chapter of the Military Officers of America Association. He was appointed to the Legion of Hoosier Heroes and is a Sagamore of the Wabash. 

In college, Book joined the Marine Corps Reserve and went on active duty upon graduation. He served on the Student Selection Committee for the U.S. Naval Academy for Senator Lugar and retired in 1983 with the rank of colonel. He is a member of the Indiana Military Coalition, the Military Officers of America Association, and The Marine Corps League Association. He represents the MCRA in its yearly presentation of a sword to the top graduate in the Purdue NROTC Battalion. 

Book served 29 years as an elected representative of the Clay Township Board in Hamilton County, Indiana, several as president. He served the same 29 years as president of the Clay Township Regional Waste District. He has been Clay Center 2 Republican Precinct Committeeman for over 30 years. He is a member of the St. Vincent Carmel Hospital Board of Directors. 

Book and Dr. Bud Harmon established the Purdue University Book Harmon Leadership Program in Animal Sciences, which began in 2005. It includes forums and retreats, scholarships, industry mentoring and an awards program, with the goal of promoting leadership in animal agriculture.

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