Biography Theodore Marlowe Crosbie

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Biography Theodore Marlowe Crosbie

Submitted: January 21, 2018

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Submitted: January 21, 2018



Dr. Theodore Marlowe Crosbie, Ph.D.

Birth 17 January 1951 O'Brien County, Iowa, USA

Death 23 July 2016 Kansas City, Wyandotte County, Kansas, USA

Burial Friends Cemetery Mapleside, O'Brien County, Iowa, USA

Theodore Marlowe Crosbie aka Theodore M. Crosbie aka Theodore Crosbie aka Ted Crosbie, of 35054 Fillmore Court, Earlham, Iowa 50072, fell ill 1 July 2016 while vacationing at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. On 4 July 2016 he was moved to University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, Kansas 66160 where he died 23 July 2016.

He grew up on a century family farm in a corner of northwest Iowa between Paullina and Primghar in O'Brien county.

Ted shared a $1.5 million home set on a gorgeous 289-acre farm and stables with his wife Rowena G. Crosbie née Berrie (born Canada; president of Tero International; 2009 Woman Business Owner of the Year).

He managed approx. 1,000 more acres at various locations throughout the Hawkeye State.


Owen Edward Crosbie (1923-2012)

Mildred Anna Crosbie née Livezey


Dr. Jonathon Crosbie, D.O., The Iowa Clinic, Waukee, Iowa


Calvin Lynn Crosbie (1960-2010)

Christine Livezey née Crosbie of Holstein, Iowa

Nancy Moton née Crosbie of Pella, Iowa

Teresa Russ née Crosbie of Hendersonville, North Carolina

Curriculum v?tae:

Graduated Paullina High School (now the South O'Brien Community School District) 1969.

BS Iowa State University 1973 Agricultural and Life Sciences Education;

MS Iowa State University 1976 Plant Breeding and Cytogenetics;

PhD Iowa State University 1978 Agronomy.

Crosbie was an ISU Alumni Association life member and an active member of the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences advisory council, and a 2006 recipient of the Floyd Andre Award ("This citation honors a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumnus who has made outstanding contributions to production agriculture."

...and a very vocal ISU Cyclones fan.

According to his own account, Crosbie found his calling in August 1976 in an Iowa cornfield as a first-year graduate student at Iowa State. A conversation with Norman Ernest Borlaug (1914-2009), variously lauded as "the father of the Green Revolution" (WSJ) "agriculture's greatest spokesperson" (Science) and "The Man Who Saved a Billion Lives" (Huffington Post) changed his life forever. Borlaug challenged the thesis Crosbie was working on and told him to “choose a topic that mattered next time.” Well, Crosbie did just that, the two became good friends, and the rest is agro-history.

He helped raise $18 million for research at ISU between 1987 and 1990. He was one of the leaders who successfully campaigned for the $30.5 million Molecular Biology Building at Iowa State (1991).

Right before joining Monsanto, Crosbie was CEO of ICI Seeds USA, formerly known as Garst Seeds (Coon Rapids, Iowa), from 1990 to 1995.

With Monsanto, Crosbie pursued a highly successful career in plant breeding and cytogenetics. From 1999-2010, his work as head of the company’s global plant breeding division (Global Breeding) helped address critical issues of food insecurity at more than 100 sites in 20 countries and earned him recognition as a Monsanto Distinguished Fellow in Science. Monsanto estimates that the hybrids and varieties developed by its global breeding team account for an astonishing 40% of global row crop production from farmer-purchased seed.

In 2005, then Gov. Thomas James Vilsack (1950-) named Crosbie chief technology officer for the State of Iowa – an appointment that was renewed by Gov. Chester John "Chet" Culver (1966-) in 2007 and by Gov. Terry Edward Branstad (1946-) in 2011.

Crosbie co-founded the Biosciences Alliance of Iowa (BAI) at ISU Ames, Iowa and chaired the organization from 2004-2010. BAI worked with the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED) to establish the Technology and Commercialization program that has funded more than 140 startup companies, with an impressive 80% success rate.

He chaired the Iowa Innovation Council, which is a think tank for economic development for the IDED, since its inception in 2011.

In 2013 Gov. Branstead honored him with a lifetime achievement award.

He retired in 2014 as vice president and executive leader of Monsanto Integrated Farming Systems (a platform and database with a Learning Center in Huxley, Iowa).

As of 2015, Crosbie was a member of the boards of:

Blue River Technologies, New Castle, Indiana;

Inocucor Technologies, Inc., Montréal, Québec;

Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines, Iowa;

Kaiima Bio Agritech Ltd., Moshav Sharona, Israel 1523200 and Helix Center Biotech Incubator, 1100 Corporate Square Drive, Creve Coeur, Missouri 63132;

Kemin Industries, Des Moines, Iowa;

Renewable Energy Group, Inc. Ames, Iowa;


Titan Machinery Inc., Fargo, North Dakota.

Obsequies by Hamilton's on Westown Parkway, 3601 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266 with a service in the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, 100 Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50309.

© Copyright 2019 Ralph Monclar. All rights reserved.

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