In 1973, Ted Crosbie received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural and life sciences education from Iowa State. In 1976, he received his master’s in plant breeding and cytogenetics. Then in 1978, he got his PhD in agronomy. Oh, and did we mention he also served as an Iowa State faculty member? Suffice it to say, Iowa State has played a big part in Crosbie’s life. “Three degrees and a faculty position. My time at Iowa State was hugely formative in my career and life,” said Crosbie. So it’s entirely fitting that Crosbie recently received the Iowa State Distinguished Alumni Award.

After his Iowa State adventure, Crosbie went on to a successful career in the agricultural field, most recently working as the head of Monsanto’s global plant breeding division and retiring in 2014 as vice president and executive leader of its Integrated Farming Systems. But Crosbie’s success goes beyond the private sector. He’s also had the pleasure of serving the state of Iowa as its chief technology officer since 2005.

Working to strengthen Iowa’s economy also has been one of Crosbie’s passions. Not only did he co-found and chair the Biosciences Alliance of Iowa, he’s also chaired the Iowa Innovation Council that serves as a think tank for innovation-based economic development. And even though he graduated more than 35 years ago, Crosbie still finds time to give back to his alma mater as a member of the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences advisory council.

As you can see, Iowa State helped prepare Ted Crosbie for a lifelong career full of adventure. Whether you’re interested in agriculture or advertising, you’re sure to find your life’s adventure here, too. And as a bonus, you’ll get to study at a campus that’s been ranked the fifth most beautiful in the world. Said Crosbie, “Iowa State has the greatest school experience to prepare you for the rest of your life. And I love the campus.”

This story is one of a series featuring Iowa State Distinguished Alumni Award winners.