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Names in the News - July 17, 2019

AFIA accepting nominations for Liquid Feed Hall of Fame

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Feed Industry Assoc. is accepting nominations for the 2019 inductee into the Liquid Feed Hall of Fame.

AFIA’s Liquid Feed Committee developed the award in 2003 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the science and growth of the liquid feed industry. To date, 20 individuals have won this award.

The Hall of Fame award will be presented at the 2019 Liquid Feed Symposium Sept. 10-12, in Omaha, Neb. People interested in nominating individuals for the award must submit a completed Hall of Fame 2019 Nomination Form to Paul Davis, Ph.D., AFIA's director of quality, animal food safety and education, at

Nominations will be accepted until July 26. For more information, visit

USGC board names LeGrand as next president and CEO

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) board of directors has named Council Director in Mexico Ryan LeGrand as its next president and CEO, effective mid-June.

LeGrand joined the organization in Mexico in 2015 and had served as the director of the Council’s Mexico City office since 2016. In this capacity, he has overseen the expansion of the Council’s programming in that country to include ethanol promotion, and worked to steady relations with the U.S. and Mexican feed and livestock industries during the negotiations of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Early in his career, he worked a year in the USGC Washington office as a manager of international operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University in international business.

AgGrad announces first 30 Under 30 Class for agriculture

BOISE, Idaho — AgGrad announced winners of the first AgGrad 30 Under 30 Awards, a program created to celebrate the young professionals shaping the future of agriculture.

Fourteen judges selected winners from peer and self nominations based on contributions in their career, community, and the industry at large. Winners are featured on AgGrad's social media channels and in a special print and online publication.

AgGrad 30 Under 30 2019 Winners in this region include:

•In the Production category, Griffin Huelsman, in farm management at Mulberry Orchard/Gajdzik Farms

•In the Innovation & Technology category, Bo Harstine, director of research with Select Sires, Inc.; and Lynn Wischmeyer-Moore, innovation specialist with Nestle

•In the Entrepreneurship category, Colin Hurd, founder CEO of Smart Ag; Matthew Rooda, CEO of SwineTech, Inc.; and Steven Brockshus, founder and CEO of FarmlandFinder

•In the Education & Advocacy category, Elizabeth Burns-Thompson in Corporate Affairs for Renewable Energy Group

•In the Agribusiness category, Andrew Lauver, Industry Relations manager for North America – Syngenta; Lucas Fuess, director of Market Intelligence for HighGround Dairy; Mackenzie Dierks, sustainable ag consultant with KCoe Isom; and Meg Becker, marketing specialist with Cargill Animal Nutrition

For more information, visit

Naig honors Oshels with Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig presented the Wergin Good Farm Neighbor Award to Rick and Beth Oshel, livestock farmers in Clarke County.

The Oshels pasture their cattle in a rotational system. Since they moved to the farm in 1987, the family has invested in terraces, waterways and have built seven ponds with the goal of improving water quality. As leaders in their community, the couple support many youth organizations and serve in numerous leadership roles.

The Oshels were nominated by a neighbor and friend, Darwin Downing.

The Wergin Good Farm Neighbor award is made possible thanks to financial support of the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers. It recognizes Iowa livestock farmers who take pride in caring for the environment, their livestock, and being good neighbors. It is named in memory of Gary Wergin, a longtime WHO Radio farm broadcaster who helped create the award.

Fish & Wildlife employee receives Hoosier Wildlife Award

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana Chapter of The Wildlife Society recently honored Scott Johnson, wildlife science program manager for the Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish & Wildlife, with the Hoosier Wildlife Award.

The award recognizes an individual who has made, or is making, a significant contribution to professional wildlife conservation in Indiana through research, management, law enforcement, education, or administration. Johnson’s contributions include species restoration, population monitoring and management, and, most recently, administration.

He serves as Indiana’s state endangered species coordinator. He has led efforts for the River Otter Restoration Program, studied Allegheny woodrat populations, and managed efforts on winter bat counts and management/protection of their hibernation habitat. He also designed and implemented many studies to inform bat management efforts and served as the state expert on white-nose syndrome monitoring.

AgriNovus adds to board of directors, Innovation Council

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — AgriNovus Indiana has added two new members to its board of directors: Gene Miles, president and CEO of First Farmers Bank & Trust, and Melissa Proffitt, partner-in-charge of client relations and chair of the Food and Agribusiness Group and Energy Group, Ice Miller LLP.

Miles oversees the general management of the bank and also manages stockholder and director relations. He received his bachelor’s degree in industrial management from Purdue University and his graduate degree in banking from the University of Wisconsin.

Proffitt is responsible for business development initiatives for Ice Miller. She received her bachelor’s degree with distinction from Indiana University and her juris doctor from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

EnviroKure, a Pennsylvania-based producer of biologic amendments and organic fertilizers, also joins AgriNovus as an Innovation Council member. In September 2018, the company announced plans to build a full-scale manufacturing plant in Bluffton, Ind.

Knoth joins Farm Credit Mid-America board of directors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The board of directors of Farm Credit Mid-America (FCMA) has selected Laura Knoth of Grand Rivers, Ky., as an appointed director to the board.

Knoth, who earned a degree in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky, is an owner/partner in M&L Farms in Grand Rivers, a 750-acre operation, and manages another 250 acres for family. The farm produces corn and/or soybeans and hay and has 100 head of cows, Quarter Horses, and draft horses.

She’s currently executive director of the Kentucky Corn Growers Assoc. and Kentucky Small Grain Growers Assoc. She was recruited to the role from Kentucky Farm Bureau, where she held positions in public affairs, state and national lobbying, policy development, education, natural resources, and commodity activities.

Vestaron hires Peck as field development biologist

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Daniel Peck, Ph.D., is the most recent team member to join Vestaron Corp. As a field development biologist, Peck began orientation by meeting the R&D team in Kalamazoo the week of April 15.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in zoology and entomology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and his doctorate in entomology from Cornell University. He is a board certified entomologist with the Entomological Society of America and a certified senior ecologist with the Ecological Society of America.

Peck brings to Vestaron 25 years of prior experience in insect pest management. This most recently includes working as a product development manager and then biological program manager at BioWorks, Inc. He also has prior experience in the areas of turfgrass entomology, soil insect ecology, and integrated pest management.

Pollock awarded Indiana Dairy Service honor

PLYMOUTH, Ind. — The 2019 Steve Atkisson Indiana Dairy Service Award was presented to Edward “Ed” Pollock on April 9 at the Indiana Milk Quality Conference, held at the Swan Lake Resort and Conference Center in Plymouth.

The prodigious award is presented annually at the Indiana Milk Quality Conference Awards Banquet to a representative of the dairy industry who has made a significant positive impact on Indiana’s dairy industry over a number of years.

Pollock is currently employed by Smith Dairy Foods in Rochester, where he has been a field person working with the farmers who supply Smith Dairy with milk for 27 years. Prior to that, he served in the Army for 27 years and in agriculture extension for in several counties throughout Indiana over a period of 30 years.

The award sponsored by the Indiana Milk Quality Professionals, Inc., is named in honor of the late Steve Atkisson, a well-respected milk quality specialist as well as dairy farm and plant survey inspector with Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

NCR-SARE program announces 2019 Farmer Rancher Grants


ST. PAUL, Minn. — The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) Program is pleased to announce the projects selected for funding for the 2019 Farmer Rancher Grant Program.

Forty-eight grant projects were selected to receive a total of more than $663,000 through this program, which offers competitive grants for farmers and ranchers who are exploring sustainable agriculture in the Midwest.

The Farmer Rancher Grant Program is a competitive grants program for farmers and ranchers who want to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects. Those selected to receive funding and descriptions of their projects are online at

Since 1988, the SARE program has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound, and good for communities and designed to improve agricultural systems.

Cattlemen host successful 2019 Michigan Beef Expo

EAST LANSING, Mich. — High-quality cattle, friendly competition, and rapid bidding made the 30th annual Michigan Beef Expo a success for the state’s cattle industry.

The March 29-31 Expo included seedstock shows and sales for Angus, Hereford, Chianina, Maine-Anjou, Shorthorn, Simmental, and all other registered breeds (AORBs). Breeders consigned 136 lots, including bulls, females, embryos, and semen from breeders in Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

The 2019 Supreme Champion Female was Simmental Lot 418, JDCC Loaded Up 44E, a heifer consigned by DeLong Cattle Co. in Cass City, Mich. She was the Michigan Beef Expo high-selling female, selling for $4,900 to Jennifer Swope.

The 2019 Supreme Champion Bull was Hereford Lot 308, MLF Free Style 303F ET, a March 2018 bull consigned by Maple Lane Farm Group LLC of Caledonia. Exhibitors of the Supreme Champion bull and female each received $500 courtesy of Quality Ag Services and Michigan Farm Bureau.

The high-selling bull was Hereford Lot 312, PSC What A Catch 302F, consigned by Parks Show Cattle of Metamora and purchased by John Roorda for $4,000.

Total consignments at the Michigan Beef Expo grossed $224,295. The bulls averaged $2,287 on 30 lots and 70 females averaged $2,399. Embryo lots averaged $301, and semen lots averaged $122.

Breed Champions

Angus – Lot 106 consigned by KB Angus of Merritt was the Champion Angus female. The Champion Angus bull was awarded to Lot 118, consigned by Vaassen Angus Farm of Ann Arbor.

Chianina – The Champion Chi female, Lot 202, was consigned by KVO Chiangus of Hamilton.

Hereford – Lot 301, exhibited by Breasbois Farms of Merrill was the Champion Hereford female, and Maple Lane Farm Group, LLC exhibited Lot 308, the Champion Hereford bull.

Maine-Anjou – Tom Elliott and Steve Fitzner of Charlotte exhibited Lot 610, the Champion Maine-Anjou female. Pickard Farm & Cattle of Hastings exhibited Lot 603, the Champion Maine-Anjou bull.

Shorthorn – Lot 507, Champion Purebred Shorthorn female, was consigned by Hidden Drive Cattle Co. of Ithaca. The Champion Shorthorn Plus female was Lot 511, was exhibited by Cool Cattle Co. of Mendon. The Champion Purebred Shorthorn bull, Lot 501, was exhibited by Pickard Farms.

Simmental – The Champion Simmental female, Lot 418, was consigned by DeLong Cattle Co., and the Champion Simmental bull, Lot 408, was consigned by Wohlfert Cattle Co. of Westphalia.

All Other Registered Breeds – Lot 703, consigned by Sugarbush Limousin of Allen, was the Champion Limousin female. The Champion Limousin bull was Lot 715, exhibited by Red Rock Limousin of Ionia. The Champion Red Angus female was Lot 705, and the Champion Red Angus bull was Lot 718, both consigned by Walnut Springs Farms of Hopkins. The Champion Charolais female was Lot 708, consigned by Steve Fitzner of Bellevue.

The 2020 Michigan Beef Expo is scheduled for April 3-5, 2020. Additional details are available at

THE MICHIGAN BEEF EXPO Supreme Champion Female is JDCC Loaded Up 44E, a heifer consigned by DeLong Cattle Co. of Cass City.

AFIA selects Cullman to be its new CEO


ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Feed Industry Assoc. (AFIA) board of directors has selected Constance Cullman, current president of Farm Foundation, to succeed Joel G. Newman as president and CEO upon his retirement later this year.

She will also become the president of the industry’s public charity, the Institute for Feed Education and Research. Cullman will officially join AFIA on July 29.

Cullman has served as president and CEO of Farm Foundation for the past three years. She has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in agricultural economics with an emphasis on international trade and agricultural policy from The Ohio State University. She hails from Marysville, Ohio, where her family owned and operated a cow/calf farm.

The Farm Foundation board of directors has appointed a search committee to begin the process of finding a successor.

Vestaron hires Vanhoy as new chief financial officer

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Vestaron is pleased to announce Jessica Vanhoy will be joining the company as chief financial officer. Most recently director of Financial Planning and Analysis for Dova Pharmaceuticals, she has 20 years’ experience in accounting and finance, fostering teamwork through company growth.

Vanhoy holds a BSBA in accounting from Appalachian State University, an MBA from Campbell University, and is a certified public accountant in the state of North Carolina.

Vestaron is a company dedicated to improving the safety, efficacy, and sustainability of crop protection through displacement of chemical pesticides with biological peptides. Vestaron is initially focused on a class of peptides that kills insect pests efficiently, but is safe for humans, birds, fish, and the environment.

Farmers will advance sustainable ag with NCR-SARE grants

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) program is pleased to announce the projects recommended for funding for three grant programs that help advance sustainable innovation to American agriculture.

Forty-eight grant projects were selected to receive a total of more than $663,000 through the NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher grant program, to explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects. Those in the Farm World region selected to receive funding are:

IOWA: Keri Byrum of Cedar Falls Hops Co. in Cedar Falls, $8,821; Jim Frey of Jim Frey Fish Hatchery in West Union; and Jan Libbey of One Step at a Time Gardens in Kanawha, $27,000.

ILLINOIS: Charles Martin of Willow Creek Farm in Oneida, $8,088; Jeff Miller of Prairie Wind Family Farm in Grayslake, $7,859; Maggie Wachter of Second Nature Honey in Urbana, $26,370; and Kevin Wolz of Midwest Agroforestry Solutions in Urbana, $8,940.

INDIANA: Nick Carter of Mud Creek Farm in Indianapolis, $8,233; Kaitlin Hossom of Second Planet Farmstead in Nashville, $8,943; John Jamerson of Legacy Taste of the Garden in Princeton, $26,827; Lauren McCalister of Three Flock Farm in Ellettsville, $5,445; and Mikael Thompson of Thompson's Prairie Honey in Greenfield, $7,965.

MICHIGAN: Melissa Boersema of Sklarczyk Seed Farm in Johannesburg, $27,000; Abby Johnson of Ox Heights in Rogers City, $8,649; Lance Kraai of New City Neighbors in Grand Rapids, $8,867; and Leah Sienkowski of Dreamgoats in Grand Rapids, $8,650.

OHIO: Sasha Miller of Purplebrown Farmstead in Hudson, $7,240; Lori Nethero of Buckeye Valley Beef Cooperative in Bethel, $25,530; and Nadia Ruffin of Quiwi Produce in Cincinnati, $9,000.

For the 2019 Youth Educator Grant Program, NCR-SARE awarded $42,000 to 11 projects. Those selected to receive funding include: Stephanie Dunn of Star Farm Chicago in Chicago, Ill., $3,910; Joshua Craig of the School Town of Munster in Munster, Ind., $3,954; MaryEllen St.Angelo of Teter Organic Farm in Noblesville, Ind., $4,000; and Hannah Scott of The Ohio State University College in Piketon, Ohio, $3,946.

For the 2019 Partnership Grant Program, NCR-SARE awarded almost $566,000 to 15 projects to foster cooperation between agriculture professionals and small groups of farmers and ranchers to catalyze on-farm research, demonstration, and education activities related to sustainable agriculture. Those selected to receive funding include:

IOWA: Suzan Erem of Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT) in West Branch, $33,365; and Bridget Holcomb of Women, Food, and Agriculture Network in Ames, $39,832.

ILLINOIS: Catie Gregg of Prairie Rivers Network in Champaign, $29,740; and Teresa Steckler of the University of Illinois in Simpson, $39,955.

OHIO: Andrew Kirk of the OSU-Ashtabula ARS in Kingsville, $39,977; and Hongmei Li-Byarlay of Central State University in Wilberforce, $40,000.

Conterra grows with new relationship manager in NW Ohio

DES MOINES, Iowa — In a step to expand agriculture financial services to producers from coast to coast, Conterra Agricultural Capital has brought on a new relationship manager. Jackie Mosier has been hired as vice president relationship manager, serving customers in Illinois and the Great Lakes region.

Mosier spent more than a decade with the Farm Credit System, where she worked in multiple capacities. Immediately prior to joining the Conterra Ag team, she worked as a senior financial analyst for Rabo Agrifinance, focusing on dairy, poultry, and grain operations. In addition, she raises certified Angus cattle outside Haviland, Ohio, with her husband and two daughters. She also operates a grain storage facility sales business.

The addition of Mosier to the team of ag lending specialists will help Conterra provide ag loan servicing, alternative lending, and asset management to farmers, ranchers, and members of the agribusiness community in a new geography.

Marrone appoints Driver as Great Lakes territory manager

DAVIS, Calif. — Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., an international leader in sustainable biopesticide and plant health solutions, announced the appointment of John Driver as U.S. Great Lakes Territory sales manager.

He brings more than 19 years of agriculture technology and portfolio sales experience to Marrone Bio, having been in a number of business sales roles of increased responsibility with BioSafe Systems, Tri-Turf, Winfield United Solutions, and Agrium Advanced Technologies.

Driver has a bachelor of science degree in environmental conservation from Northern Michigan University. Additionally, he attended Michigan State University, where he graduated with honors in turf and horticulture crop management.

Naig hires new assistant state veterinarian for Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced Katie Rumsey, DVM, has been hired as an assistant state veterinarian at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Rumsey will support State Veterinarian Dr. Kaisand and will oversee companion animal regulatory programs. A second assistant state veterinarian will focus on production animal programs.

Rumsey has more than 14 years of experience in small-animal medical care and surgical procedures. She is accustomed to consulting with animal owners on preventative health, medical care, behavior issues, and husbandry practices. She is a graduate the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and recently completed a Master of Public Health degree through the University of Iowa.

Farm Credit Mid-America announces board election results

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Farm Credit Mid-America (FCMA) announced that stockholders elected four agriculture growers and producers to the cooperative’s board of directors.

Only customers with voting stock were eligible to vote – customers purchase voting stock at the time of their loan origination. Owner-customers elected to the board “Doc” Cottingham of Attica, Ind., Todd Clark of Lexington, Ky., Andrew Wilson of Somerset, Ohio, and Brandon Robbins of Cookeville, Tenn.

Cottingham is a fifth-generation farmer, raising corn and soybeans on 1,150 owned and 1,350 rented acres, with his son. Clark is a first-generation farmer who raises burley tobacco, hemp, alfalfa hay, and grass hay, along with beef cattle, poultry, and sheep on 2,000 acres.

Wilson is a fourth-generation farmer, raising corn, soybeans, wheat, and forages. He is a contract swine grower, beef cattle producer, and sells freezer beef. Robbins is part of a family farming operation, raising beef cattle and hay on 1,150 acres, and owns and operates Mountain Farm International, LLC, an ag equipment dealership.

All but Clark will serve four-year terms; he will serve a three-year term. Following that, future directors from Kentucky will serve four-year terms. Board-approved structure changes voted on in late 2018 created the one-time term change for this seat.

Director picked for National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Chair of the Organizational Council of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Eowyn Corral announced the selection of the organization's new director. Sarah Hackney, NSAC's current Grassroots director, was the Council's unanimous choice for the position.

Hackney will assume the role fully in mid-July. She has spent nearly eight years as NSAC’s Grassroots director, working with member organizations and allies to empower and mobilize grassroots food and farm voices for the coalition’s national policy campaigns.

Hackney came to NSAC in 2011 after serving as executive director of a rural Oregon-based farm and food nonprofit and holds a B.A. in environmental studies from Dartmouth College.

Syngenta’s #RootedinAg contest finalists announced

GREENSBORO, N.C. — After a record number of entries, Syngenta is proud to announce the three finalists in its annual #RootedinAg contest. These finalists, who will each receive a mini touch-screen tablet, will now compete for the grand prize – $500, plus a $1,000 donation to the winner’s favorite local charity or civic organization.

The voting period for the contest, now open on the #RootedinAg Contest page, also gives anyone who casts a vote the chance to win a $50 American Express gift card through a special drawing.

The competition, which began in March, invited growers and other ag professionals to describe the person who most inspired their agricultural roots. Syngenta will feature the winning story in an upcoming issue of its Thrive magazine.

The 2019 finalists are: Kathleen Sylvia Kelley Amaral from Griffin, Ga., graduate research assistant with the University of Georgia; Krista Swanson from Oneida, Ill., a farmer and research specialist in agriculture policy with the University of Illinois; and Tammy Wiedenbeck from Lancaster, Wis., a farmer/co-manager of Riverview Farms and field rep/social media coordinator at Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Assoc.

Online voting, along with the judges’ scores, will determine the grand prize winner. Voting ends August 30, with Syngenta announcing the winner this fall. For more information and to vote for your favorite finalist written entry, go to the #RootedinAg contest page at

Crouch announces FCC appointment for Indiana’s Rudd

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced that Scott Rudd, the director of broadband opportunities for the state of Indiana, was appointed to the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, which is housed under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

FCC Chair Ajit Pai appointed various individuals from across the country who work on broadband related issues to come together and address the digital divide in the United States. The committee will address the following:

•How to best improve broadband infrastructure before a disaster occurs and how to use strategies during and after the response to a disaster to minimize broadband network downtime

•Find ways to encourage the deployment of high-speed broadband infrastructure and services to low-income communities

•Make job skills training and development opportunities more widely available

Holcomb makes appointments to various Indiana boards

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced several new appointments and reappointments to various state boards and commissions. Among them were to the 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force and the State Egg Board.

Holcomb made seven appointments to the Task Force, whose terms expire on Dec. 2, 2020:

•Bill Fine (Greenwood), Utility Consumer counselor for the state of Indiana

•John Graham, retiring dean of the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs

•Kay Pashos (Indianapolis), partner at IceMiller legal counsel

•Philip Powell, associate dean of academic programs, clinical associate professor of business economic and public policy, and Daniel C. Smith Faculty Fellow at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business

•Wallace E. Tyner, James & Lois Ackerman Chair and professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University

•Donna Walker (Bloomington), president and CEO of Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.

•Juan Pablo Carvallo (Berkeley, Calif.), scientific engineering associate in the electricity markets and policy group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Holcomb also made five reappointments to the Egg Board, whose terms will expire June 30, 2022. They are: Bryan Johnson (Orleans) with Riverview Farms, representing Indiana Farm Bureau; Darrin Karcher with Purdue, representing the Office of Agricultural Research Programs; Blair Kriner (Indianapolis) with Delco Foods, representing the foodservice industry; Thomas Lafferty (Noblesville) with Blackford County Foods, representing the Indiana Grocery & Convenience Store Assoc.; and Alex Seger (Jasper) with Wabash Valley Produce, representing the Egg Council of the Indiana State Poultry Assoc.

Hellmich promoted to director of Indiana Nature Preserves

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Ronald Hellmich, who has worked in the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Nature Preserves for more than 32 years, the last 25 of them full-time, was recently promoted to the position of division director.

For the past four years, the Greensburg resident has served as coordinator of the Indiana Natural Heritage Data Center of DNR Nature Preserves. Before that, he served as data manager for the center for 20 years.

Hellmich holds a J.D. from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, a master’s degree from its School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), and a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from Ball State University. He started his DNR Nature Preserves career as an intermittent employee in 1987, while a junior at Ball State. Hellmich replaces John Bacone, who retired in January.

ASTA announces new leadership team, award winners

DENVER, Colo. — The American Seed Trade Assoc.’s (ASTA) newly-elected officer team was announced during ASTA's Policy & Leadership Development Conference in Denver. Members of the 2019-20 ASTA officer team are Chair Wayne Gale of Stokes Seed; First Vice Chair John Latham of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds; and Second Vice Chair Brad May of BASF.

During the conference, ASTA announced winners of its prestigious annual awards, the Distinguished Service and Honorary Member, along with a new award – the Better Seed, Better Life Ambassador Award.

The Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes an individual who made outstanding contributions to the industry throughout the year, went to Alan Galbreth, who has spent his 43-year career in the seed industry working for the Indiana Crop Improvement Assoc. (ICIA), where he was appointed CEO In 2011.

The Honorary Member Award recognizes individuals who exemplify leadership, vision, and service. This year’s award was bestowed upon two seed industry professionals: Blake Curtis of Curtis & Curtis, Inc. seed business in New Mexico; and John Duesing of Corteva Agriscience and an active member of ASTA’s International Executive Committee for the past five years.

The Better Seed, Better Life Ambassador Award went to Lileen Coulloudon of the Texas Foundation Seed Service.

Michigan’s Vestaron hires Patel as chief operating officer

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Ash Patel is the most recent hire, as Vestaron continues to round out its corporate leadership team and fulfill its mission of revolutionizing the agricultural insecticide landscape.

As an accomplished operations director with more than 23 years of experience leading manufacturing, engineering, capital projects, supply chain, and IT/automation systems, Patel is the ideal leader for this role. With the recent commercialization of Vestaron’s first peptide-based bioinsecticides, the company was seeking someone who can help it meet increasing volume requirements while streamlining and reducing risk in the manufacturing process.

Patel joined the team on June 12, shortly after the organization announced its Series B funding, and completes the corporations’ senior executive team. He will oversee all of Vestaron’s manufacturing and supply chain operations, including associated regulatory processes, throughout the globe.

World Food Prize Foundation conducts search for next president

DES MOINES, Iowa — The World Food Prize Foundation seeks well-qualified candidates for the position of President. Earlier this year, Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn announced he will retire in January 2020.

The Foundation coordinates the World Food Prize award, the Borlaug Dialogue, and youth programs to focus on global food and agriculture issues and to inspire the next generation of scientific and humanitarian leaders.

More information on the president’s role, its responsibilities, and the desired candidate profile may be found at

For confidential consideration as a candidate or to suggest a prospective candidate, email Jon Leafstedt or Heiri Gugger with Kincannon & Reed at

USPOULTRY’s 2020 Environmental Excellence competition

TUCKER, Ga. — The U.S. Poultry & Egg Assoc. (USPOULTRY) is accepting nominations for the 2020 Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award. The award recognizes exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers engaged in poultry and egg production.

Those eligible for the award include any family-owned poultry grower or egg producer supplying product to a USPOULTRY member or an independent producer who is a USPOULTRY member. Nominations are due Oct. 31.

Nominations may be made by a USPOULTRY member, an affiliated state poultry association, or by a poultry or egg producer that grows poultry or produces eggs for a USPOULTRY member. Each integrator or egg processor may nominate two growers or producers for each processing facility in each state that they operate.

All semi-finalists will receive a trip that covers travel expenses and hotel accommodations for two nights to the 2020 International Poultry Expo, part of the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Ga. Each will also receive a Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award sign to display near the entrance of their farm.

Each regional winner will also receive a $1,000 cash award. In addition, the farm for each regional winner will be spotlighted on USPOULTRY’s website. Competition details are available at

ASA seeks nominations for annual soy recognition awards

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The American Soybean Assoc. (ASA) wants to recognize exceptional soy volunteers and leaders. During ASA’s annual awards banquet, individuals will be recognized and honored for state association volunteerism, distinguished leadership achievements, and long-term, significant contributions to the soybean industry.

The Recognition Awards categories are: Outstanding State Volunteer, Distinguished Leadership, and the Pinnacle. All nominations must be received online, no later than Oct. 14. No nominations by telephone, email, or fax will be accepted.

A judging committee will be assigned to make the final selections. Recipients will receive their awards at the ASA Awards Banquet on Feb. 28, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas, at the Commodity Classic.

Crouch and FSSA honor Golden Hoosier award recipients

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, in collaboration with Indiana Family and Social Service Administration’s Division of Aging, announced 23 senior citizens received the 2019 Golden Hoosier award this year.

The award began in 2008 and annually honors Hoosier senior citizens for their years of service and commitment to the state. The 23 recipients attended a June ceremony at The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, which celebrated their achievements.

Among the recipients is Stanley Madison of Lyles Station. Nominated by Eric Heidenreich, Madison is a visionary leader of a devoted group of volunteers who’ve invested much of their time, talent, and treasure into saving and restoring Lyles Station, the only historic rural black settlement still standing in Indiana.

Madison, founder and chair of the Lyles Station Historic Preservation Committee, is a fifth-generation farmer. He, along with other remaining Lyles Station residents, have dedicated themselves to preserving the legacy of the freed Tennessee slaves who founded the Gibson County farming settlement in 1849.

Their extraordinary efforts in enlisting local, state, and federal support led to the restoration of the historic Lyles Station schoolhouse, which now operates as a museum and heritage learning center that tells the story of rural African-American life in the 19th and 20th centuries.