Executive Director and Professor Emeritus
Dave Downey founded and serves as the executive director of Purdue University’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business. He is responsible for the development of executive and management education programs for a wide array of individual companies, trade associations and public programs. The center has become recognized as the leader for agribusiness executive educational programs in the United States. It annually attracts hundreds of agribusiness professionals from across North America and around the world.
Dave is also professor emeritus of agricultural marketing at Purdue University. He has taught courses in agri-selling and agri-marketing strategy and helped develop Purdue’s major in agri-sales and marketing, the first such program in the country. Over his career, he has taught and counseled more than 10,000 students.
Dave’s primary focus is on marketing and selling to farmers. He has been deeply involved in many studies of farmer buying behavior, including Purdue’s Large Commercial Producer Project, a regular study of the attitudes and buying patterns of large growers across North America.
Dave has received several recognitions for professional excellence, including four major teaching awards from Purdue University and two national awards from the American Agricultural Economics Association. In 2004, Dave was recognized with the Special Boilermaker award from the Purdue Alumni Association for his “significant contributions to improve the quality of life and betterment of the educational experience for Purdue students.” In 2007, Dave was presented with the Distinguished Ag Alumni award from the Purdue Ag Alumni Association for his outstanding service to agriculture.
He has published three widely accepted books in his field. He is co-author of a new book, ProSelling: A Professional Approach to Selling in Agriculture and Other Industries, the most complete book on agri-selling in the market. It is used extensively by colleges and universities across North America. He has authored other books, including Agribusiness Management, published by McGraw Hill, and AgriSelling: Principles and Practice.
Dave is widely recognized as an agribusiness consultant in North America and in various countries around the world. He has worked extensively with Ravensdown, a leading input supplier in New Zealand and has held numerous seminars in Australia. He has worked extensively with Valley Irrigation in South Africa and with Valley territory managers from around the world. Dave was recently invited to speak with several hundred agronomic distributors in Brazil and has presented seminars to ag retailers in Argentina, Central America and the Caribbean. He has been invited to speak in the United Kingdom, France and Poland. He also taught an intensive, two-week marketing course in an agricultural MBA program in Beijing, China.