Ladd Seaberg, longtime leader of MGP Ingredients, dies

by Eric Schroeder
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Ladd Seaberg
Ladd M. Seaberg, former longtime board chairman, president and c.e.o. of MGP Ingredients, died Jan. 29.

ATCHISON, KAS. — Ladd M. Seaberg, former longtime board chairman, president and chief executive officer of MGP Ingredients, Inc., died Jan. 29. He was 70 years old.

Associated with MGPI throughout his entire professional career, Mr. Seaberg joined the company in 1969 and rose from distillery production manager to vice-president and manager of the company’s starch division in 1970. He was promoted to vice-president and plant manager in 1972, named president in 1980, and added the title of c.e.o. in 1986. In 2006, he was named chairman.

Mr. Seaberg retired as chairman of MGPI’s board on Aug. 27, 2009.

During his 37 years in active management with the company, Mr. Seaberg led numerous progressive developments, including several major expansion projects, facility and technological upgrades, product diversifications and an extensive internal restructuring process. He also had an integral role in MGPI becoming a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq Exchange in 1988 and was instrumental in the growth of the company’s product lines that included the addition of several specialty wheat proteins and starches for food applications, along with increased premium distilled spirits capabilities.

Mr. Seaberg was a founding member and past president of the International Wheat Gluten Association. He also was a past president of the U.S. Wheat Gluten Industry Council and was a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Grains, Feeds and Oilseeds, representing the U.S. grain community at World Trade Organization meetings. He also belonged to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Water Pollution Control Federation, and the Technical Committee of the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S.

In addition, Mr. Seaberg was a board member of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a member of Kansas Inc., and a member of numerous other state committees under former Kansas Governor Bill Graves. He also served for several years on the boards of Exchange National Bank and Trust Co., Atchison, the former Atchison Leather Products Co., and Benedictine College, and was an advisory director of Commerce Bank of Kansas City.

A native of China, Texas, Mr. Seaberg received a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Texas Tech University in 1969.

Survivors include his wife, Karen, who currently serves as chairman of MGPI; two daughters, Lori (Roy) Mingus, Lawrence, Kas., and Melissa (Kyle) Huntington, Atchison; and six grandchildren.

Funeral services for Mr. Seaberg will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Feb. 6, at the First Presbyterian Church, 302 North Fifth St., Atchison, Kas. The family will receive friends during a visitation from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Becker-Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home Chapel, 800 Kansas Ave. in Atchison. 
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