CAPE GIRARDEAU -- Dr. Jerry Caulder, a Gideon native and Southeast Missouri State University alumnus who is often referred to as the "Father of Agricultural Biotechnology," will speak at commencement exercises at 2 p.m. May 12 in the Show Me Center at Southeast Missouri State University.
Caulder has had an unparalleled record of success in the life science industry. Growing up on a cotton farm at Gideon, he continues to own and operate the family farm there. After graduating from Southeast with a bachelor of science degree, he went on to earn both a master of science and a doctoral degree in plant physiology and agronomy from the University of Missouri.
"The most rewarding thing about what I do is being involved in a technology that creates products which really make a difference in our society -- from new drugs and medical devices to improvements in our food chain," Caulder said.
Currently Caulder is a founding partner, chairman and chief executive officer of Finistere LLC. He has been the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of several biotechnology companies in agriculture, human health, medical devices and consumer products: Mycogen Inc.; Mycogen Seed Co.; Myelos Neurosciences; Athenix Inc.; Chlorogen Inc.; Entomos Inc.; S&M NuTech.; Never Compromise Inc.; and Advanced Stent Technologies Inc.; and others.
Caulder is former three-times chairman of the Industrial Biotechnology Association, a predecessor to the Biotechnology Industry Association (BIO) and has served on BIO's board of directors and chaired its Food and Agriculture Section. BioCom awarded him the James McGraw Award, their highest honor.
He has served on and chaired several committees of the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, given expert testimony before both houses of Congress and advised foreign governments on agriculture and biotechnology. He has been an advisor and speaker to numerous organizations, including the Brookings Institute, The Keystone Group and the World Economic Forum. In addition, Caulder has been profiled in various magazines and newspapers such as Forbes and USA Today. He is frequently quoted in the national media as an expert in the life sciences.
Caulder has received the William Henry Hatch Memorial Award from the National Association of Land Grant Universities and Colleges. He has been honored as Man of the Year in Service to Agriculture by Progressive Farmer magazine and he has served as the D.W. Brooks lecturer at the University of Georgia. He was elected to the National FFA's Hall of Achievement. Caulder has been honored with the Citation of Merit Award and the Faculty Merit Award from Southeast Missouri State University. The University of Missouri awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Science degree and their Alumnus of the Year award. The National Forum of Agriculture awarded Caulder the prestigious Agricultural Vision Award.
Caulder is a member of the Advisory Council on Small Business and Agriculture of the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco, Calif., a member of California and Missouri Governors' Councils on Science and Technology and a former trustee of the Reuben H. Fleet Space Center in San Diego, Calif. He served as one of the founding directors of the World Agriculture Forum in St. Louis, Mo. In addition to this impressive list of accomplishments, Caulder is also the holder of several U.S. and foreign patents.