ADM Rice’s Chris Bonnesen to Retire

White man with gray hair wearing glasses and a dark business suit and brown tie
Chris Bonnesen
Oct 01, 2019
ARLINGTON, VA -- After more than 40 years in the U.S. and international rice industry, Christian Bonnesen, president of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Rice, Inc., is retiring on October 31.  

Bonnesen started his early rice career with Continental Grain Company, with a focus on U.S. and international rice trading.  In 1999 he founded ADM Rice, and over the course of 20 years grew the fledgling rice company into one of the world’s largest global rice groups, with both a large U.S. footprint and a significant international presence.  In 2004, Bonnesen spearheaded the acquisition of a California rice mill to add to the ADM Rice portfolio.

Bonnesen served in many USA Rice leadership roles throughout his career, including the USA Rice Board of Directors, the USA Rice Millers’ Association (RMA) Board of Directors, and the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee.  As chair of the EU Trade Policy Subcommittee, he continually sought a fundamental rewrite of access for U.S. rice in Europe, a task that remains a key objective of USA Rice.

“Chris grew ADM into one of the premier millers and exporters of U.S. rice,” said Bobby Hanks, chair of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee.  “ADM’s rice leadership is essential in maintaining a viable market for U.S. rice in Iraq, a complex and difficult market, and the company provides continuing leadership in market access for Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.”

Bonnesen’s tireless focus on customer and supplier relationships, as well as his work with USA Rice, has had a tremendous impact on the rice industry.  

“We’ll certainly miss his steady leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and good humor,” said Betsy Ward, president and CEO of USA Rice.  “Everyone here at USA Rice wishes Chris the best in his retirement.”

Brock Meadows, the company’s current vice president of trade and administration, has been appointed the new president of ADM Rice, Inc.  Todd Burich will continue in his key role as vice president of ADM Rice, representing the company on RMA and USA Rice boards and committees; and Jorge Rodriguez will remain as ADM Rice’s international marketing director.