Before becoming a prominent agricultural professional, Benedict T. Palen, Jr., earned a BA from the University of Kansas. He then received a JD from Northwestern University School of Law after completing his well-received thesis on the taxation of agricultural investment partnerships. After completing additional studies at Fordham University and New York University, Benedict T. Palen, Jr., subsequently worked at law and investment banking firms in New York, where he specialized in taxation and structuring investments in the gas and oil industry.
As a fifth-generation farmer with roots in Kansas, Palen returned to his home state in 1984 to run a family farm and construction company. He was responsible for the operation of more than 100,000 acres of land and successfully introduced intensive crop rotation and no-till farming procedures to the Great Plains region. To monitor the fields of organic grains, he also implemented satellite technology usage and the practice of grid sampling.
Benedict T. Palen, Jr., now co-owns and manages Great Plains Farms, LLC, where he produces organic and nonorganic crops, grazes cattle, and supervises conservation lands. In addition to leading the farm’s operation, he also consults on a wide range of agricultural projects and developments. He recently helped a large sugar cane plant in Zimbabwe with irrigation development, training procedures, and GPS-based land leveling. In addition to these consulting services, Palen is retained by other enterprises to serve as an advisor on various agricultural investment ventures.