Eric Thompson

MFA Incorporated - Inducted in 2006

Eric Thompson embodied leadership - as a high school athlete, a decorated, B-52 fighter pilot, dedicated teacher, and as President & CEO of MFA. Eric Thompson steered the cooperative through the farm crisis of the late 70s and early 1980s. Thompson's courage, leadership and vision provided members and employees the framework for initiating the radical change necessary to move MFA from a farm organization to an agribusiness.  


In August of 1979 Eric Thompson challenged long time MFA president Fred Heinkel during the annual convention.  Thompson's election was the beginning of a transition away from an organization that focused on the political arena back to its original purpose of providing economic benefit to farmers.  


Thompson's efforts to transform the cooperative into a modern agribusiness included a rigorous strategic planning process focused on defining a set of principles, goals, strategies and objectives to position the cooperative to be financially sound, fiscally secure, and successful ten years in the future. Eric's natural leadership, his courage, determination, and vision transformed MFA. The fundamental, structural changes implemented during his tenure as CEO allowed the cooperative to survive and flourish.


courageous and visionary leadership, landmark reform, and unwavering commitment to cooperative principles