FRI was founded in 1946 by Dr. Charles H. Sandage, a renowned
agricultural market research expert. While consulting with an Indiana agribusiness firm,
Dr. Sandage identified the need for an independent panel of farm producers for
agricultural related market research. He then established FRI and operated the firm for
almost 50 years. Dr. Sandage retired in 1995.
Dr. Sandage grew up and worked on a farm until he left for
college. He was a professor of advertising at Miami University, Harvard Graduate School of
Business, the University of California, and the University of Illinois, and is recognized
as having pioneered the development of systematic research of the farm markets. Dr.
Sandage's numerous appointments include Director and Vice-President of the American
Marketing Association, Director of Research of the Institute of Transit Advertising,
Division Chief of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, and Research Consultant to the Federal
Communications Commission. He was also became a member of the Advertising Hall of Fame in
1985. Dr. Sandage was head of the advertising department at the University of Illinois
until he retired in 1968 to concentrate his efforts in agricultural research. He is author
of many magazine articles, pamphlets and books, and also owns a small farm in Illinois.
FRI is continuing in the tradition left by Dr. Sandage. The panel provides useful
information on a variety of agriculture-related topics ranging from types of soybean seed
planted to organizational membership. FRI will continue to provide valuable insight into
the purchasing patterns of farmers in the Midwest as well as trends in farm size and