Jeff Simmons is a man on a mission. As the president of Elanco, the animal health division of Eli Lilly, he’s spent the last several years out on the stump, determined to convince the world that technology and innovation—including Elanco’s drugs for farm animals—are essential for Big Agriculture to thrive and feed the growing global demand for food.
“We’re part of one of the most important forces on the face of the earth— American agriculture,” Simmons declared last October to an audience of more than 10,000 delegates at the annual Future Farmers of America Convention in Louisville. “Get on your feet,” he commanded as the country music hit Give Me Back My Hometown blared and Simmons made his way through the crowd, high-fiving delegates and snapping selfies on his way to the stage. “Moments ... can create movements,” he said.