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DAA: Michael Culy

Michael Culy

Michael Culy


Indianapolis, IN


The butterfly nets Michael Culy took on family vacations and sewing pins he borrowed from his mother to mount his childhood insect collections were telltale signs of the Purdue University bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate in entomology to come. The Hagerstown, Indiana, youngster simply loved bugs. That education opened the door of opportunity, and Culy stepped in. He started with a small Fort Wayne you-pick vegetable farm and then moved on to Pioneer, where he worked full time while earning his Ph.D. There, he set up the nation’s first integrated pest management program in corn seed production, an achievement he holds dear despite many more that followed. In 1989, he joined Dow Chemical USA and DowElanco, continuing with successor Dow AgroSciences. In his 17 years, he’s held various posts and taken leadership on numerous projects, ranging from scientific to human resources to compliance matters. Today, he serves as Dow’s global regulatory molecule leader, accountable for regulatory actions and maintenance of legal right-to-sell of existing molecules. He’s also an adjunct entomology professor at the University of Nebraska. Culy is a board-certified entomologist and a frequent author, conference presenter, and guest lecturer. He’s helped develop site-specific decision-making tools for farmers, positioned Dow as a global leader in responsible care of GMO crop research, and mentored many students and young scientists. His interests also include fishing, hunting, camping, gardening, woodworking, and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. And when his children were young, he earned the nickname “Dr. Bug” for his lively school presentations. “Beyond the book learning and technical science, what I got at Purdue was an appreciation for people and relationships — that probably did the most — and a sense of professionalism that was instilled in the students.”