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Ronald Francis Eustice

Ronald F. Eustice was born September 24, 1945 at Waseca, Minnesota. He is the son of Donald F. Eustice and Alice Mae Perron. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Minnesota Beef Council. Since 1990, his contributions to agriculture and food production are many, but there is one about which he is especially passionate. In 1997, a series of ground beef recalls, cases of foodborne illness and subsequent lawsuits presented major challenges to the beef industry. Under his direction, the Minnesota Beef Council began a highly coordinated educational effort to improve the safety of ground beef. The Minnesota Department of Health under the direction of Dr. Michael Osterholm, encouraged the directors and staff of the Minnesota Beef Council to study irradiation and determine if the technology could do for ground beef what pasteurization had done for milk a fifty years earlier. It soon became obvious that irradiation was the most effective technology available to protect public health and eliminate the scourge of E. coli O157:H7.  The Minnesota Beef Council conducted dozens of educational conferences and served more than one million samples of irradiated ground beef as consumer interest, understanding and public support for this food safety technology grew. By the year 2000, highly respected companies such as Schwan’s and Omaha Steaks began to irradiate all their raw ground beef. Eustice has been invited by governments and agencies, including the United Nations, to be the keynote speaker at seminars, university classes and other educational activities about irradiation of meats and produce in more than 30 states, 3 Canadian provinces, Argentina, Brazil, India, Spain, Peru, Thailand and Uruguay.

Ronald F. Eustice


A turning point in Ron’s life was his selection in 1966, to be an International 4-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) delegate to Uruguay where he lived with families on farms and ranches in various parts of that country. Since then, Eustice has traveled to more than 80 countries on behalf of American agriculture including two years living in Mexico and three years in Indonesia. His career accomplishments include 40 years of domestic and international marketing activities with major corporations, cooperatives and associations including Meredith Corporation, Carnation Company, American Breeder’s Service, Minnesota Holstein Assoc, Land O’ Lakes and the Minnesota Beef Council. Eustice has trained thousands of veterinarians, farmers, ranchers and food industry professionals throughout the world in food safety, quality assurance, genetic programs and artificial insemination. Most recently Eustice’s educational efforts have been concentrated in the area of food safety and technology introduction. Besides English, Eustice is fluent in Spanish, German, and Indonesian, and speaks three other languages.


Ron Eustice grew up in Steele County on a farm near Waseca. He was involved in 4-H and FFA in high school and in 1962 was a member of the state champion FFA Dairy Judging Team.  He continued his judging success in college, and was a member of a national champion intercollegiate dairy judging team (1965) and placed 8th individually at the 1966 national contest.  He also judged on the U of M’s General Livestock Team. In college, he was a member of the Delta Theta Sigma Fraternity and served as chairman of Minnesota Royal. He graduated in 1968 from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Agricultural Journalism and later completed a Masters of International Business Degree from Century University


Ron received the Minnesota Honorary Future Farmer (FFA) Degree-1999, Distinguished Service Award, Minnesota Foundation for Responsible Animal Care-2000, Honorary American Farmer Degree from National FFA-2001, MN Dept of Ag Excellence in Food Safety Award-2002 and Southern MN Ag Ambassador of the Year Award-2004.


Ronald and his wife of 33 years, Margaret McAndrews live in Savage. They are the parents of Kevin, (married to Alison Walker) who recently completed a Ph.D. degree at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in computer engineering, John, a graduate in Horticulture of University of Minnesota who does plant development and writes professionally, and AnnMarie who graduated in 2007 from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Interior Design employed by Target Corp.