Willis E. Anthony is the recipient of the 2011 Bethany Lutheran College Distinguished Alumni Award. He was presented with the award during the 2011 commencement ceremony. Anthony grew up on the family farm near Norseland, Minnesota. He attended Bethany Lutheran High School and a year of junior college at Bethany before attending Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota where he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1960. He continued his education at the University of Minnesota earning a master’s in agricultural economics and a Ph.D. in agricultural and applied economics. He also studied law at the University of Minnesota.
The agricultural industry is Anthony’s passion. After earning his degrees, he worked two years as an agricultural economist for the United States Department of Agriculture and taught agricultural and applied economics at the University of Minnesota between the years 1967 and 1981. He returned to Norseland in 1981 to run the family farm—Anthony Farms, Inc. is a 2600-acre grain farm and Josie’s Pork Farm that finishes approximately 24,500 pigs per year. Anthony has provided consulting expertise in a variety of agricultural venues including the Board of Directors of the U.S. Grains Council; and Executive Board of the Council on Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching. He is a member of Gamma Sigma Delta Society—The national honor society for agriculture. Anthony is a recipient of the University of Minnesota Department of Applied Economics Outstanding Alumni Award and he received the University of Minnesota’s Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture in 1999.
Anthony’s Christian faith is of utmost importance and leads him to volunteer for many religious causes including the Board for Education and Youth and the Doctrine Committee for the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. He is a past member of the Board of Directors for Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School and past president of the Bethany Lutheran College Alumni Association. He currently serves as a member of the Bethany Lutheran College Board of Regents. Willis Anthony and his wife, Rachel, are the parents of a son, Peter, who is also a Bethany Lutheran College alumnus.