WASHINGTON, DC, US — Bruce Benschoter, who held senior positions in the grain industry and served in a variety of volunteer roles with industry associations, died on Jan. 11 from the effects of the COVID-19 virus.

Benschoter began his career in 1960 with The Pillsbury Co. and later joined Vanice Grain in Omaha, Nebraska, US, as president of the firm.  When Bunge Corp. acquired Lauhoff Foods and its wholly owned subsidiary, Vanice Grain, Benschoter became vice president and southwest regional manager for Bunge. After retiring from Bunge, he joined Farmland Industries and held a number of senior positions in the grain division. 

When Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) acquired Farmland’s grain division, Benschoter served as general manager of the joint venture, ADM-Farmland.  He retired from ADM in 2005. He then joined DeBruce Grain where he assisted with special projects.

Bob Petersen, president of the Transportation, Elevator and Grain Merchants Association (TEGMA), who worked with Benschoter when he served as the organization’s chairman in 2000-01, expressed sadness at the news of Benschoter’s death.

“Bruce was truly one of a kind and in his day was a force of nature — he was full of energy and he was a doer; he got things done,” Petersen said. “He represented the industry and TEGMA on many occasions.  We could always count on him.”

Information on Benschoter’s memorial service is pending.