The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Carl and Kim Casale Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Chris Petersen.

November 6, 2015


“Of International Business and Precision Agriculture”  November 6, 2015  Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, the Casales discuss their respective upbringings and family backgrounds, with Carl reflecting on his Italian heritage and his life growing up on a farm, and Kim reflecting on a peripatetic youth that saw her live in four different states before she graduated from high school. Both then describe the paths that they took to attending college at OSU, as well as their involvements in the Greek system, the circumstances by which they met one another, their extracurricular activities - with a particular emphasis on Beaver sports - and their academic progressions in Agricultural Economics. Both likewise comment on influential individuals whom they met while undergraduates.

From there, the Casales provide an overview of their lives following college. Both recount the specifics of their early career trajectories - Carl at Monsanto and Kim at Bristol-Myer Squibb - and the family decisions that they had to make as their work lives advanced. They then share their thoughts on the building of skill sets and leadership traits that helped propel them as business executives.

The session then turns its attentions to Carl's decision, in 2011, to join CHS, Inc. as its Chief Executive Officer and President. In this, he recalls the factors that led him to making this decision and provides a glimpse into his life as the leader of a Fortune 100 business.

Next, the Casales tell the story of their Oregon blueberry farm, commenting on its origins and growth, and specifically detailing their use of cutting-edge precision agriculture technologies to help manage their property from their home base in Minnesota.

The interview concludes with the Casales thoughts on their continuing connection with OSU, noting in particular their involvement with the College of Agricultural Sciences and the OSU Foundation.