Tom Elam grew up in North Carolina and Tennessee. He has a BS degree in Economics from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee (1969) and MS (1970) and PhD (1973) degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Tom’s first professional position was Assistant Professor of Economics at Northern Kentucky University (1972-74). He next went to the University of Illinois where he was a state Extension Specialist in crop and livestock outlook (1975-78). Following this experience for one year he was coordinator of USDA’s feedgrains, wheat and rice Situation and Outlook Reports (1978-79). In this capacity he also served as USDA’s Economic Research Service representative for grains on the World Agricultural Outlook Board.
In July of 1979 Tom went to work for the Elanco Products Company, a division of Eli Lilly and Company, in Indianapolis, Indiana. His first assignments were in the market research areas of Agricultural Chemicals and Animal Health. He was named Elanco’s agricultural economist in 1982. In 1993 he assumed the additional responsibilities of leading Elanco’s Global Strategic Planning effort. From 1999 to 2003 he was Chairman of the Market Research Committee of the U.S. Animal Health Institute. In addition to his other company responsibilities Tom appeared as a speaker on numerous programs around the world, and was the author of TrendLines, Elanco’s monthly economic newsletter. Tom retired from Elanco in February 2003.
Tom is currently an Associate Lecturer in Economics at the Indianapolis branch of Indiana University.
Tom is the founder of the Thomas E. Elam Scholarship in Business and Economics at his undergraduate alma mater, Union University.
He is married, has two daughters, and resides in Carmel, Indiana.