David Berg PhotoDavid Berg
2016 Agribusiness Award

David Berg grew up in Fargo, within one block of the NDSU main campus. Both of his parents worked on the campus, and Berg remembers crawling under the fence at Dacotah Field to watch Bison football games when he was seven years old. His loyalty to the Bison continued as he sold popcorn in the bleachers at Bison games until he was a teenager.

After graduation from high school, Berg enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He served for four years at Grand Forks Air Force Base and also in London, England. Upon his discharge in 1976, he enrolled at Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications. Following graduation, he worked as a general assignment reporter at WDAY TV and radio in Fargo. During his time at the station, a member of NDSU staff suggested he consider enrolling in the master’s degree program in agricultural economics at NDSU.

Within a three-week period in 1982, Berg completed his master’s degree, married Becky Samson of Moorhead and started a new job in the procurement division of General Mills in Minneapolis. In his five years with General Mills, Berg was a commodity analyst, grain merchandiser and ingredient buyer. In 1985, the Bergs had their first child, Andrew.

In 1987, the couple returned to Fargo-Moorhead, where Berg began a 29-year career at American Crystal Sugar Co. His first position was in the marketing department, and led to other opportunities in human resources, agriculture and operations. In 2007, he was named president and CEO. The Bergs had two more children – Charlie and Kathryn – in 1988 and 1990.

During his time at American Crystal, Berg was deeply involved in his company’s role in supporting the Farm Bill and sugar program in Washington, D.C. He represented the beet sugar industry in negotiations to resolve a longstanding and critically important trade dispute with Mexico. Berg retired from American Crystal in August 2016.

NDSU has remained an important part of Berg’s life. He served two terms on the NDSU alumni board of directors, and was part of the Bison Caucus effort to represent NDSU at the state capitol. Berg also served on the boards of other non-profit organizations, including the United Way of Cass-Clay and the Northern Lights Council of the Boy Scouts. He currently serves on the boards of Bell Bank and Amity Technology Inc.

David and Becky look forward to dividing time between their lake home in Minnesota and winter residence in Arizona. They also plan to travel and spend more time with family.




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