Richard Schmitz Food Entrepreneurship Series

The Richard R. and Mary L. Schmitz Endowment for Opportunities in Food Entrepreneurship was founded in 1999. The fund supports an annual lecture by industry experts in the category of food entrepreneurship. This includes executives within a broad range of food processing, retailing and wholesaling industries. 

Richard Schmitz logo

This series provides an opportunity for Minnesota State University, Mankato’s College of Business to engage the growing sector of Agri-business with our students, alumni and friends in a format that educates the community about growing needs in the agriculture world.

2021 Event
The 2021 event was held virtually on March 24 featuring Kristin Duncanson, Highland Family Farms, and Sheryl Meshke, AMPI, Inc.



He used his business and accounting background in the Food Retailing Business with Red Owl Stores in Hopkins, Minnesota as an auditor.

In 1973 purchased a retail food store in Olivia, Minnesota. Acquired and ran a total of five stores in 1985 in Duluth, Minnesota and Hudson, Wisconsin. In 2003 owned two large Food Stores in Hudson and Wausau, Wisconsin and sold them and retired from the business.

His business was recognized as Business of the Year in Hudson, Wisconsin in 1992.
He was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of Minnesota State University, Mankato with the Harold J Fitterer Service Award in 2002.

He has served as Chamber of Commerce President in Olivia, Minnesota in 1978, Chairman of Wisconsin Grocers Association 2000 and was the President of the Minnesota State Mankato Foundation Board.