William J. Beard
After graduating from Purdue University with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics, William Beard and his wife founded Beard Industries in Frankfort, IN. Originally, Beard Industries began as a distributor of Steckley’s Genetic Giant Hybrid seed corn and sold Steckley grain bins on the side. However, when grain bin sales exceeded the seed corn business, the Beards decided to concentrate on a sales line of independent grain dryers.
With that decision, Beard Industries began to grow. In 1966 the factory was moved off the Beard farm and in 1968 the factory was expanded to accommodate the production of the Super-B Automatic Grain Dryers. In response to rising energy costs in the 1970’s, Beard Industries developed their own dryer, the Superb Energy Miser Dryer. In 1988 the Meyer Dryer was added and in 1997 the factory was expanded.
The Superb Energy Miser Dryer and Meyer Dryer have been shipped throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico as well as to Ecuador, Venezuela, Russia, England, China, and Turkey, making Beard Industries a world-wide leader in grain dryer manufacturing.
Bill has also provided his talents and generosity to various organizations within agriculture. He has been a member of the Clinton County Farm Bureau since 1950 and a member of the Indiana Association of Expert Swine Judges since 1940. He was named as an Agriculture Life Benefactor by the Purdue University Agriculture Dean’s Club and in 2003 was the Interim Director of Agriquest.
Although Bill retired in 2002, he did not slow down. After his retirement he was elected as a County Commissioner for Clinton County. During his term he has been a leader on several different projects including a six million dollar sewer and water project for the town of Jefferson and sufficient improvement to the county EMA Program. He is presently serving his second term, continuing to provide leadership and sacrificing his time for his community.
Bill and his wife were instrumental in bringing a YMCA to Clinton County, raising over four million dollars for the project. Bill now serves on the Board of Directors for the YMCA. Additionally he is an elder in the Frankfort First Christian Church, President of the Red Barn Summer Theatre Board of Directors, Chairman of the Clinton County Community Foundation Board of Directors, and President of the Frankfort Kiwanis.