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Names in the News - April 3, 2019

National soybean board elects 2019 governing committee


ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The American Soybean Assoc. (ASA) board of directors elected its governing committee during the annual winter board meeting in St. Louis, and new board members immediately began their terms.

Davie Stephens of Clinton, Ky., serves as 2019 ASA president. He has been an ASA national director since 2012, serving as secretary and most recently vice president. He also represented his fellow state farmers on the Kentucky Soybean Assoc. board from 2006-14. He farms more than 5,000 acres in Kentucky and Tennessee, in soybeans, corn and chickens.

Stephens replaced John Heisdorffer of Iowa, and Heisdorffer moved to the role of ASA chair. Former Chair Ron Moore Ill rotated off the nine-member governing committee.

The ASA board also elected Bill Gordon of Minnesota to serve as vice president, a position that places him in line to serve as ASA president in 2020. Gordon is a fourth-generation farmer who grows soybeans and corn across 2,000 acres, including 250 in buffer strips and wetlands.

In addition, the board voted to elect Bret Davis of Ohio as secretary and Brad Kremer of Wisconsin as treasurer. Kevin Scott of South Dakota, Joe Steinkamp of Indiana, Brad Doyle of Arkansas and Ronnie Russell of Missouri were elected as at-large members of the governing committee.

New members of the ASA board are Daryl Cates and David Droste of Illinois and Christopher Hill of Minnesota.

National Biodiesel Board hires new regulatory affairs director


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) announced it hired Kate Shenk as director of Regulatory Affairs. She comes to NBB from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), where she led a regulatory affairs committee and developed analyses and comments on regulatory policies.

Shenk brings extensive knowledge of the regulatory policies that shape the biofuels industry’s growth. Her addition to NBB’s Washington-based federal affairs staff will increase the biodiesel industry’s effectiveness in policy advocacy.

NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the biodiesel and renewable diesel industries, including producers, feedstock suppliers and fuel distributors. Headquartered in Jefferson City, Mo., NBB maintains a Washington, D.C., office for federal affairs and work on regulatory issues surrounding international trade and the federal Renewable Fuel Standard.

Quality Technology welcomes new sales, marketing manager


ELGIN, Ill. — Quality Technology International welcomed a new regional sales and marketing manager, Brandon Bess, focusing on the turkey market segment. Bess will be providing sales and technical support for turkey producers, veterinarians and nutritionists.

He will work with QTI’s Animal Health Team to help manage territory account plans within the turkey market segment and develop improvements that impact the sales territory. Before joining QTI, Bess worked in management and supervisory positions at Boehringer-Ingelheim Animal Health, Merial Select and Tyson Foods.

Bess completed his bachelor of science degree in poultry science at North Carolina State University. He later graduated with a master’s in agricultural education and agricultural business from North Carolina A&T State University.

Second annual summit awards honor best in soil health


ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Five dedicated leaders in soil health received Seeds of Change awards at the 2019 Soil Health Partnership (SHP) Summit, Jan. 15-16 in St. Louis. These awards highlight those participants in the SHP who go above and beyond to promote soil health throughout the year.

The recipients include two local farmers. “Ace Agronomist” is Bryce Kujawa of Mount Vernon, Ill. He connected SHP with a pilot associate program site in southern Illinois and continues to support and share information about SHP’s efforts. An educator at heart, he takes the time to teach others and ask thought-provoking questions about soil health and cover crops.

The “Exceptional Educators” award went to John and Joan Maxwell of Donahue, Iowa. The Maxwells take the initiative to tell the story of what’s happening on their farm to anyone and everyone, from local kindergarten students to visitors from Brazil.

They love to share how a successful dairy and crop farm can sustainability feed the growing population while caring for the land. John is a strong advocate for the Soil Health Partnership and has been featured in print and television news.


Seed Genetics Direct names Jeffries as vice president



JEFFERSONVILLE, Ohio — Chris Jeffries, president of Seed Genetics Direct, and the SGD team recently welcomed Todd Jeffries as the company’s vice president of sales and operations.

Todd joins his father, Chris, to provide quality and competitive genetics to farmers in the Eastern Corn Belt through SGD, a fast-growing seed company in Jeffersonville. Todd brings 20 years of experience to SGD, including 12 years as a seedsman and numerous honors and recognitions.

In his new role, he will assist farmers with seed-purchasing decisions, support research and testing initiatives, collaborate with the marketing and sales team, aid in logistics management and serve as a core member of the production planning team.

Todd earned his bachelor’s degree in applied management from Ohio University. He has also completed agronomy and seed biotechnology courses through Purdue University and the University of California-Davis, respectively.

Kettler chairs national plant and pesticide committee

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — National Assoc. of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) President Jeff Witte appointed Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler to serve as chair of the association’s Plant Agriculture and Pesticide Regulation Committee.

NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association that represents the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories, and has six standing committees. As chair, Kettler will oversee the committee’s work, which is to review and establish the association’s policy positions on national issues including, but not limited to, plant health, biotechnology, pollinator health, pesticides and invasive species.

The committee will host monthly calls to discuss these issues. If adopted, those policies will be used by NASDA to advocate on behalf of the industry when meeting with lawmakers, government agencies, organizations and key stakeholders throughout the year.

Kettler was also appointed to serve as a member at-large for the NASDA Foundation. In that role, he will provide guidance on the Foundation’s projects that support and enhance the work being done by the nation’s departments of agriculture.

Lankhorst named president/CEO of Krone North America

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Krone announced Dietz Lankhorst has been named president and CEO of Krone North America, headquartered in Memphis. Lankhorst will replace Rusty Fowler, who is retiring.

Lankhorst comes to Krone from MTD Products, Inc. of Valley City, Ohio, where he had served as vice president of European Operations since 2013. In that role he oversaw central purchasing, and the relocation and startup of manufacturing facilities. He began his business career as a financial analyst with Ford AG, in Cologne, Germany, in 2002.

He earned a mechanical engineering degree from Cologne University of Applied Science in 1998 and a finance degree at Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, Monchengladbach Campus, in 2001. He represents the fifth generation of a family-owned agricultural equipment dealership in Neuenhaus.

Vestaron appoints Mitchell as director of marketing

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Vestaron announced the appointment of Sherry Mitchell as its director of marketing. She most recently was North America director of communications for Nufarm Americas, a developer and marketer of crop protection and enhancement products, for its agriculture and turf segments.

She also has strong brand and creative experience in other fields including creative agencies and educational institutions. “Vestaron’s commitment and unique approach to crop protection is inspiring. It is with great enthusiasm that I join the team to share with growers the exceptional biocontrol solutions the company offers,” Mitchell said.

New IBCA and IBC board beginning work for 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana Beef Cattle Assoc. (IBCA) held elections during recent Area Beef Meetings to choose three area directors who sit on the IBCA-Indiana Beef Council board of directors.

Beef producers in Area 1 elected Fred Glover of Milan, producers in Area 5 reelected Jeff Sherfield of Spencer and producers in Area 7 reelected Cody Sankey of Economy.

During the convention at the Sheraton Hotel on Jan. 26, the IBCA membership elected officers for 2019-20. They are President Dr. Bruce Lamb of Milford, President-Elect Neal Smith of Pendleton, Vice President Chad Lanum of Flora and Treasurer Andrew Stewart of Greensburg.

Also serving on the Executive Committee with the officers are Promotions Committee Chair Dr. Jennie Hodgen, Membership Chair Tim Schwab and Immediate Past President Joe Horstman.

Beef industry’s best honored at annual awards banquet


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana Beef Cattle Assoc. (IBCA) honored the state’s top cattlemen during their Annual Convention in Indianapolis on Jan. 26.

IBCA leadership presented the 2018 Friend of the Industry Award to Randy Haymaker with Hoosier Energy. A staunch supporter of the Indiana agriculture, Hoosier Energy has generously sponsored the IBCA area beef meetings for many years.

To honor cattlemen who possess beef management skills and leadership abilities, the IBCA awarded the 2018 Young Cattleman of the Year to Dr. Paul Hodgen of Roachdale. Following research positions with Monsanto, he moved his family home to operate a commercial cow herd and grain operation.

The prestigious Outstanding Cattleman of the Year Award was presented to Phillip and Patty Dow of Paragon. Extensively involved in their community for many years, they take great pride in their diversified grain and livestock operation and in the fact their Hoosier Homestead farms have been in the family since 1870.

The most esteemed award each year is the coveted Robert C. Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award. Barry Jordan of Rennselaer and the late Alan Armstrong of Springville were the 2018 award recipients. Jordan was awarded the Young Cattleman of the Year in 1983, served as the co-chair of the first IBCA Hoosier Beef Congress in 1987 and was Cattleman of the Year in 2000. He also served as 2005 IBCA president.

Armstrong was an educator for 43 years while continuing the growth of the family farm to a productive 3,060-acre beef cattle, hay and crop farm. With a strong commitment to be a steward of the land through soil and water conservation, he continued to grow the family farm to 1,500 cattle and served as IBCA Area 2 director.

AgriNovus adds agbioscience leaders to board and council

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — AgriNovus Indiana has added two new members to its board of directors: Alan Tio, CEO, Kosciusko Economic Development Corp. and Chris Lowery, senior vice president, Workforce Alignment for Ivy Tech Community College.

Tio leads the community’s efforts to promote economic growth throughout Kosciusko County. KEDCo is the nonprofit full-service economic development organization serving the county. He received his bachelor’s degree in international studies from Miami University and a master’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University.

Lowery chairs the Career Coaching and Navigation Action Team for Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Workforce Cabinet and is chair of the Board of Trustees of the Sagamore Institute think tank. He received his master’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University and a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University.

AgReliant Genetics also joins AgriNovus as an Innovation Council member. The third-largest corn seed company in the United States and headquartered in Westfield, AgReliant has production locations in the Midwest and 13 research facilities across North America.

Holcomb makes appointments to Soil Conservation, Fair boards

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Gov. Eric Holcomb recently announced new appointments and reappointments to various state boards and commissions, including the state Soil Conservation and State Fair boards.

He appointed one new member to the Soil Conservation Board, with a term expiring Jan. 1, 2023. Amy Burris of Loogootee is a farmer at Burris Family Farms.

He also reappointed Martin Chattin of Decker, president of Chattin Brothers, Inc., and Robert Eddleman of Indianapolis, associate supervisor for the Marion County Soil & Water Conservation District. Their terms also expire on Jan. 1, 2023.

And Olgen Williams, former deputy mayor of the city of Indianapolis, was reappointed to the State Fair Board until Sept. 30, 2022.

QTI welcomes new layer sales and marketing manager

ELGIN, Ill. — Quality Technology International announces the appointment of Jeffrey Jordan as sales and marketing manager, focusing on the layer market segment.

Jordan will be providing sales and technical support for producers, veterinarians, and nutritionists. He will work with QTI’s Animal Health Team to manage existing and prospective customers.

Before joining QTI, he served as layer operations manager with Cal-Maine Foods, and also had served with Tyson Foods and Simmons Food. He earned a bachelor of science degree in animal science from the University of Arkansas.

Red Gold awards E.A. Reichart honor to grower Abbett

ELWOOD, Ind. — Red Gold, Inc. of Elwood presented Glenn Abbett of LaCrosse, Ind., a plaque naming him the winner of the E.A. Reichart Quality Achievement Award to honor him as Tomato Grower of the Year.

Abbett Farms was chosen from a select group of seven master growers, picked from 46 growers for Red Gold. Glenn Abbett also received his eighth Red Gold Master Grower award. Winners received specially designed plaques in recognition of their achievement in growing high-quality tomatoes, exhibiting industry leadership, and professionalism.

All growers for Red Gold have had training on good production practices, employee safety, and human resources. As a tomato grower for Red Gold, Abbett has excelled in stewardship and sustainable practices on his farm and participates in the Red Gold IPM program. This year’s production from Abbett Farms would account for more than 30 million cans of Red Gold whole, diced, stewed, and specialty tomato products.

PRESENTING THE AWARD to Glenn Abbett (center, standing) are Beau Reichart (left), chief operations officer, and Colt Reichart (right), director of marketing, Omni-Channel & Consumer Relations. Seated in front are Kevin Ketchmark and Kory Kalinke.

(Photo provided)

USPOULTRY picks new officers, bestows awards at Expo

TUCKER, Ga. — John Prestage, senior vice president of Prestage Farms of Clinton, N.C., was elected chair of the board of directors of U.S. Poultry & Egg Assoc. (USPOULTRY), during the International Poultry Expo. He previously served as vice chair.

Greg Hinton of Rose Acre Farms in Seymour, Ind., was named vice chair. A native of Indiana, he attended Indiana University and Purdue University. He has served the poultry industry in various capacities on boards and committees, including the Indiana State Egg Board, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, International Egg Commission, United Egg Producers, Indiana Farm Bureau, and the American Farm Bureau.

He is currently vice president of sales for Rose Acre Farms and serves on the Executive Committee and Long-Range Planning Committee. He has been with the company for 39 years.

Other new officers are Treasurer Mike Levengood with Perdue Foods of Salisbury, Md.; Secretary Mikell Fries with Claxton Poultry of Claxton, Ga.; and Immediate Past Chair Tom Hensley of Fieldale Farms in Baldwin, Ga.

Various other awards were presented at the Expo. Mike Robach, retired from Cargill, was named USPOULTRY’s Workhorse of the Year. The prestigious honor is awarded annually in recognition of dedicated service and valuable leadership given to the association and poultry industry.

Robach is a graduate of Michigan State University and Virginia Tech. He started his career with Monsanto Co. and joined Cargill in January 2004 to lead the company’s corporate food safety and regulatory affairs programs.

Dr. Kenneth Anderson received the annual Charles Beard Research Excellence Award. He is a professor in the Prestage Department of Poultry Science at North Carolina State University. The award is named in honor of Dr. Charles Beard, former director of the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory and former vice president of research at USPOULTRY.

Anderson was selected for this award based on his exceptional research on mass depopulation methods to reduce animal suffering in poultry. He earned his B.S. degree from Southern Illinois University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Kansas State University.

The annual Lamplighter Award was presented to Dr. Bernie Beckman, director of technical services for Hy-Line North America, and Charlene Powell, vice president of human resources at Crider Foods.

Beckman earned his D.V.M. at Purdue University in 1992 and began his career at Hy-Line North America in the summer of 1992 as a technical service veterinarian. Powell is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Kentucky Poultry Federation “Friend of Poultry, Honorary Commissioner of Agriculture, Labor-Management Manager of the Year.” She is also a Kentucky Colonel.

Triple Cross Farms of Mayfield, Ky., was recognized as the South Central Region finalist for the annual Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award. Clint and Kelly Harris were nominated by Tyson Foods and the Kentucky Poultry Federation.

NewLeaf Symbiotics names Helms VP of marketing

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Matt Helms has been hired as the new vice president of marketing at NewLeaf Symbiotics, a company dedicated to sustainable agriculture and singularly focused on naturally occurring microbes known as M-trophs.

Helms brings more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the crop protection industry. He worked at Monsanto for 18 years, where he most recently served as vice president of Global Ag Productivity Technology. He also held roles as VP of Global Business Development and VP of Global Crop Protection Marketing.

He earned a B.S. in agriculture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an executive MBA at Washington University in St. Louis.

Poultry safety recognition award applications being accepted

TUCKER, Ga. — The Joint Poultry Industry Safety Award Program is accepting applications from poultry industry facilities with outstanding safety programs. The program is open to National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, and U.S. Poultry & Egg Assoc. members with facilities that, through the implementation of innovative and effective programs, have injury and illness rates below the industry average for three consecutive years.

Award program rules, regulations, and application forms are available by visiting

The application deadline is April 26. The annual awards will be presented during the National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry, Aug. 12-14, at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Destin, Fla.

Ohio DNR names new chiefs for Forestry, Geological Survey

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) employees were recently promoted at the department, with Mike Angle named the new chief of the Division of Geological Survey, and Dan Balser named the new chief of the Division of Forestry.

Angle worked as the assistant chief of the Division of Geological Survey since 2012. Previously, he was the geologist supervisor for the Geologic Mapping and Industrial Minerals Group and mapping geologist for the regional geology section. He has authored more than 20 maps and more than a dozen articles and publications on various aspects of Ohio’s geology and hydrogeology.

Angle earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from the University of Akron, with a specialty in glacial geology and hydrogeology.

Since 2011, Balser has served as assistant chief of the Division of Forestry, managing all administrative aspects of the division, including fiscal operations, human resources, the urban, service and forest health programs, and communications.

As chief, he will oversee operations at more than 200,000 acres of Ohio’s state forests and lead the work of promoting sustainable management of its 8 million forested acres. He earned a bachelor’s degree in natural resources, majoring in forest resource management, and a master’s degree in natural resources management, both from The Ohio State University.

BioAg World Congress honors Marrone with inaugural award

DELHI — Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. announced that Dr. Pamela Marrone, founder and CEO of MBI, was honored with the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award by BioAg World and Bionema, a leading biopesticide product testing and technology development company.

Nominated by her peers as “a remarkable individual who has made big contributions to the BioAg industry,” Marrone was lauded for her consistent achievement in advancing the BioAg industry, specifically in biopesticides. She founded her namesake company in 2006 to discover and develop effective and environmentally responsible, biologically based products for pest management and plant health.

During her three-decade-long career – during which she founded three companies that screened hundreds of thousands of microbes and developed multiple breakthrough products – she has worked to bring rigorous science and legitimacy to the biopesticide category. She was the founding chair of the Bioproducts Industry Alliance in 2000, which now has more than 100 members.

Indiana Pork honors meritorious service award winners

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana Pork recently presented three awards to individuals who have dedicated much time to advancing the pig industry.

Joe Baldwin, recipient of a Meritorious Service award, joined Maxwell Farms of Indiana in 2006. As operations manager, he oversees all aspects of Maxwell Farm's wean-to-finish operation in east-central Indiana with 15,000 sows and contract finishing space to market more than 800,000 hogs annually.

Baldwin is a native of Randolph County. He graduated from Purdue University School of Agriculture with a degree in animal science. He is immediate past president of the Indiana Pork Board of Directors and serves the National Pork Producers Council as a member of the Nominating Committee. He and his wife, Stephanie, own a small sheep and cattle operation on their 115-acre farm near Winchester.

Indiana Pork awarded its second Meritorious Service award to former state Rep. Bill Friend, who was first elected to House District 23 in 1992. During his tenure at the Statehouse, he served as the ranking member of the House Republican Leadership, Majority Floor Leader, and was the Republican Speaker Pro Tempore for the 119th General Assembly.

Throughout his tenure, he served on the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. As owner and operator of Friend Farms and President of Green Acres Ham LLC, he is a strong advocate for advancing rural communities across the state of Indiana.

During the 2005 session, Representative Friend authored legislation that collected money from Indiana's cigarette tax to be dedicated to the Clean Water Fund within the Department of Natural Resources DNR budget. This will ensure productivity of Indiana soil and reduce the cost to taxpayers for cleaning ditches and waterways.

Friend is a graduate of North Miami High School and the University of Indianapolis.

Jason Oyler of Double J Farms in Carroll County received the Contract Grower award. He and his father started raising pigs for Co-Alliance/Excel Co-op in 2001. Over the past 18 years he has grown his contract business to 20,000 spaces for Co-Alliance.

His farming operation includes many conservation practices and he is currently farming 2,400 acres in the Carroll County area. Oyler and his team excel on many levels, but his key focus is on being a good neighbor and using good environmental practices.

Indiana Pork also recognized retiring board member Valerie Duttlinger of Gentryville. The board elected Nick Maple, a hog farmer from Amboy, and Brian Martin, a hog farmer from Williamsport, as president and vice president, respectively.