Mary Keough Ledman earned her B.S. degree in Agricultural Journalism in 1987 and her Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University in 1990 with a thesis, “A Comparison of Product Price Formulas as an Alternative to the Minnesota-Wisconsin Price.” Having grown up on a 160 acre, 50-cow dairy farm in southern Wisconsin, Mary was involved in the dairy industry at a very early age. She has since dedicated over twenty-five years of work to researching and improving the dairy industry.
Following graduation, Mary began her career in the agriculture industry at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the National Agricultural Statistics Service department where she was responsible for calculating and publishing 28 price series, including the Minnesota-Wisconsin Price Series, or the Class III price. In January 1992, Mary accepted a position as the Manager of Dairy Economics at Kraft General Foods (KGF). During her time at KGF, Mary was responsible for economic analysis and forecasting of economic trends in the domestic and international dairy industry. In this role, Mary coordinated the Dairy Economics Plan Analysis and prepared and presented the Dairy Situation and Outlook to KGF strategic partners. By mid-1993, Mary became the Manager of Strategic Planning and Financial Reporting for Kraft International, where she provided weekly and monthly business performance reports and forecasts to the International Headquarters.
After spending two years working at Kraft, Mary accepted the Director of Materials Planning at Stella Foods, Inc. In this role, she was responsible for purchasing four billion pounds of milk and 20 million pounds of nonfat dry milk powder annually. In January 1995, Mary decided to found Keough Ledman Associates, Inc. (KLA), a dairy economics consulting firm. KLA provides monthly dairy product and milk price forecasting, economic and policy analysis, and cash and futures dairy product trading, as well as domestic and international dairy market information services. Clients of KLA include Dean Foods, Kroger, Land O‘Lakes, Select Milk, Dannon, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and others. In 2012, Mary acquired the Daily Dairy Report from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and, in April 2013, Mary released the “Daily Dairy” market app for both Android and Apple devices. The acquisition of the Daily Dairy Report and the development of the Daily Dairy app are the culmination of her years of experience and the use of both degrees.
Mary and her husband Ken are team leaders and supervise a team of 12 adults in preparing Saturday evening meals every six weeks at a local soup kitchen. Mary has also served as a coach for Destination Imagination, a problem-solving and team-building program, and as a volunteer in youth football. Mary is a member of the Farm Foundation Round Table and serves as trustee of the Farm Foundation Board. In addition, she has served as a member of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation. Mary is also a member of the American Agricultural Economics Association (AAEA). She has been active within Texas A&M classrooms speaking in classes for Dr. Knutson, Dr. Outlaw, and Dr. Siebert.
The Ledman family recently relocated from the suburbs of Chicago to a lake home in Alexandria, Minnesota. Mary and Ken are the parents of Jon, Dylan, and Ryan, and grandparents of Mason.