Mark Leddy received his B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics at South Dakota State University in 1986, as well as, his M.S. degree in Economics from SDSU in 1987. His master’s thesis “An Economic Analysis of Alternative Farming Systems in Northeastern South Dakota” focused on organic/sustainable farming systems in South Dakota.
After completion of his studies, Mark worked for The Travelers Insurance Company in Hartford, Connecticut in their product management division.
Mark joined Valley Queen Cheese Factory, Inc. Milbank, South Dakota in 1990. He served as Milk Procurement Manager until his promotion to CEO in August 2000. He served as CEO until July of 2016. Under his leadership, Mark led growth efforts that moved Valley Queen from a small cheese manufacturer processing 200 million pounds of milk per year to one of the largest cheese plants in the Midwest processing 1.5 billion pounds of milk annually.
During his tenure, Mark along with other key dairy industry partners also worked to transform South Dakota from a minor milk-producing state to one now recognized as the home of the I-29 corridor, one of the key milk growth areas in the United States.