Fred M. Seed, 69, a former president of Cargill Inc., died of cancer Friday at his home in this suburb of Minneapolis.
Mr. Seed was employed for 43 years -- his entire working life -- by Cargill, a multinational grain-marketing, transportation and agricultural products processing giant with a total revenue of about $10 billion today.
He was made a vice president and a member of the board of directors in 1946 and was promoted to executive vice president in 1960. He became president and chief operating officer in 1968 and retired in 1975.
Mr. Seed was one of the first members of the executive committee of the National Council for U.S.-China Trade, a private nonprofit corporation set up in 1973 by a group of leading American business executives to encourage trade with China despite the absence of diplomatic relations.The council is based in Washington, D.C.
While he was president of Cargill, the company entered the flour-milling business, wet corn milling, cattle feeding and metal ores trading. Also during his tenure as president, Cargill moved into oil seed production, feed manufacturing and poultry production and processing. Cargill's headquarters are in Wayzata, a suburb of Minneapolis.
Born in St. Croix Falls, Wis., Mr. Seed graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1932 and went to work for Cargill immediately thereafter. In 1975 he described his business philosophy thus:
"Decentralization of management is important in the development of people and contributes to the growth and success of the company." He also said that the most significant development of Cargill while he was president was the move from grain merchanidsing to deversified agricultural products processing.
Survivors include his wife, Grace; two sons, James and John; one sister, and seven grandchildren.