Benedict T. Palen, Jr., has more than 30 years of experience working in agricultural investments, management, and operations. Throughout his successful career, Mr. Palen has completed financial and operational evaluations on hundreds of properties, negotiated land purchases and mineral leases, and developed new land in both Africa and the United States for crop production. While working in the western Great Plains, he leveraged his lifetime of on-farm experience to pioneer new crop rotations and farming methods. Currently, Benedict T. Palen, Jr., serves as co-owner and manager for Great Plains Farms, LLC, managing everything from the evaluation and purchase of farmland to providing advice on irrigation development and operator training.
Mr. Palen began gaining farm experience when he spent several summers working as an equipment operator and shift foreman on a 40,000-acre farm in Colorado while attending the University of Kansas for his bachelor’s degree in history and political science. Shortly after graduating with honors, he enrolled in Northwestern University School of Law and received his JD in 1978. For several years, he worked as an associate specializing in taxation at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy, followed by several more years as an associate at Merrill Lynch. In 1984, Mr. Palen returned to the agricultural industry as co-owner and operator of a family construction and farm business, which he ran until accepting his current role in 2010.