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Stine's Small-Town Success


Farmer holding seedling analyzing inputs

A small-town farm boy who later became a seed company pioneer saw his wealth climb $2 billion last year and now has a fortune that is nearing $10 billion, according to Forbes Magazine estimates.

“Harry Stine is synonymous with many titles – innovator, businessman, entrepreneur – but the title holding the most significance to him is farmer,” his bio begins on the website of the company that he founded.


Stine grew up on the family’s farm in Adel, about 25 miles east of Des Moines. His career didn’t take him far from home after he attended McPherson College in Kansas. Stine returned to the farm and worked with his father, Bill, at the family’s soybean cleaning business.


The son was determined to grow a better bean. And he did. Corn, too. Eventually, Stine engineered technological advances that the largest companies in the world had to have. Monsanto and Syngenta were among them.


In this profile, Stine explains how he acquired his early knowledge of seeds. “Most fun that I know to do,” Stine said during this television interview about his commitment to improving seed potential.


Decades of success made Stine the wealthiest man in Iowa, according to Forbes. But he also promised to share his prosperity with others as part of the Giving Pledge, where wealthy people agree to donate most of their fortunes.

See the full list of the individuals who have pledged to donate, including Sara Blakely, Warren Buffet and T. Boone Pickens.


Stine became an integral part of several companies over the decades as he expanded his impact in agriculture. This podcast features one of his partners, Bill Eby, and what they have accomplished together over their long business relationship.

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