Henry A. Wallace Award

This citation honors a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumnus or friend who has achieved notable professional achievements nationally or internationally and brought distinction to themselves, the college, and the university through their significant contributions. Selection is made by the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

This award was established in 1978 and is presented annually during Iowa State University’s Homecoming Weekend. Click here for the nomination form. Nominations are due the third Tuesday in November.

2019 Henry A. Wallace Awardee

Dhamu R. Thamodaran (’83 PhD agricultural economics)
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Photo of Dhamu Thamordaran

Dhamu R. Thamodaran, executive vice president, chief strategy officer and chief commodity hedging officer for Smithfield Foods, Inc., has been a global leader in the agricultural industry for more than 30 years.

Thamodaran joined Smithfield Foods in 1995 as director of price risk management and was promoted to his current role in 2016. During his time with the company, Smithfield Foods has grown to become the world’s largest pork producer and processor. In his current role, Thamodaran leads strategy development for Smithfield Foods’ vertically integrated business, manages its commodity hedging activities, and oversees its global economics commodities research and analysis group.

Thamodaran is widely respected for his knowledge of global macroeconomics, agricultural markets, and the pork value chain. He is regularly invited to speak to the boards of food and agriculture companies and at industry trade association events. In 2019, Thamodaran joined the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group’s Agricultural Markets Advisory Council. An avid advocate for education, Thamodaran shares his professional experiences and insights with students nationally.

Dr. Thamodaran earned his PhD in agricultural economics, summa cum laude, in 1983 from Iowa State University, where he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Gamma Sigma Delta honors societies. Dr. Thamodaran earned his master’s degree in agricultural economics and statistics in 1980 from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute and his bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1978 from India’s Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

Thamodaran currently lives in Virginia Beach, VA with his wife, where he enjoys playing golf. Thamodaran and his wife support various educational and cultural nonprofit organizations.

Past Recipients