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Names in the News - February 21, 2018

National FFA announces appointments to Sponsors’ Board

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Since its inception in 1947, the National FFA Foundation Sponsors’ Board has supported the foundation in securing funding in support of FFA and agricultural education.

The group, comprised of approximately 40 top corporate executives who support the vision and mission of FFA and are interested in promoting careers in agribusiness, agriculture and food production, entrepreneurship and FFA, announced the following appointments to its Sponsors’ Board:

•Susanne Wasson, chair: vice president of Commercial Effectiveness, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont

•Doug Griffin: principal of The Context Network

•John Grunewald: president/CEO of Farm Credit of Western Oklahoma

•Gary Halvorson: vice president, Agronomy of CHS, Inc.

•Martha Hennigan: assistant director, Sales and Marketing Operations of Kubota Tractor Corp.

•Johnny Hughes: senior vice president, Food Service Sales of Tyson Foods

•Christi Korzekwa: senior vice president, Marketing of Tractor Supply Co.

•Jon Lowe: vice president, U.S. Cattle and Equine Business of Zoetis

•Alistair McLelland: vice president, Marketing, North America of AGCO

•Scott Mortimer: vice president/group publisher Agrimedia, Successful Farming Advertising Sales, Meredith Corp.

•Melissa Proffitt: managing partner, Ice Miller LLP

•Bobbi Jo Raffetto: vice president and general manager, Sweets & Cereals of Kerry Taste & Nutrition

•Greg Schneider: vice president of Supply Chain Management of Culver’s

•Steve Sutherland: director, North America Sales & Distribution of Firestone Farm Tires

The Foundation also announced the following new appointments to its current Individual Giving Council:

•Jay Vroom, chair: president/CEO of CropLife America of Washington, D.C.

•Dwight Armstrong: founder of JDA Consulting, LLC, of Nashville, Tenn.

•Jim Loar: president/CEO of Cool Planet, Denver, Colo.

•Bruce Maloch: vice chair and general counsel of Farmers Bank and Trust of Magnolia, Ark., and an Arkansas state senator

USDA recognizes 2017 Presidential Rank Award winners

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The USDA recognized three of its talented employees for being honored as fiscal year 2017 Presidential Rank Award winners. Jere L. Dick of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) received a Distinguished Rank award, and both Cyril G. Gay and Jerry L. Hatfield of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) received Meritorious Professional awards.

Dick serves as associate administrator of APHIS and received this award for, among many things, his role in response efforts to the 2015 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in poultry, as well as his work in developing USDA’s new feral swine control program. Gay, who has led the USDA-ARS Animal Health National Program for 15 years, received the award in part for his international recognition as a leading authority in vaccinology and biodefense research.

Hatfield, director of ARS’ National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment in Ames, Iowa, received the award for his extensive research on agriculture’s influence on environmental quality. He leads the agriculture sector for the National Climate Assessment, part of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Jones and Hora join Growmark board of directors

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Andy Jones and Brian Hora have joined the Growmark board of directors through two separate processes. Hora was elected by shareholders to represent Growmark’s geographical Zone D, while Jones was appointed by the Growmark board to be an at-large director representing the cooperative’s business in its Eastern Region.

Jones currently serves as chair of the board at Legacy Farmers Cooperative, an FS company based in Findlay, Ohio. He has served on the Legacy Farmers Cooperative Board since 2011. He operates a 2,100-acre cash grain enterprise in Bloomdale.

Hora was elected to the board to represent Iowa and states north and west. He operates a 650-acre corn and soybean farm in Ainsworth, Iowa. He has served as a director of AGRILAND FS since 2000.

The Fertilizer Institute picks 2018 Crop of 4R Advocates

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) named five farmer and fertilizer retailers pairs who are implementing innovative and sustainable 4R fertilizer management practices on the farm to increase production and reduce their environmental impact.

These 2018 4R Advocates farm 19,250 acres of land using 4R Nutrient Stewardship practices. Now in its seventh year, the 4R Advocate Program has recognized 40 agricultural producers and retailers, farming 163,675 acres in 19 states. These forward-thinking individuals serve as examples by championing sound nutrient stewardship.

The 2018 Advocates include, from the Farm World area, Maria Cox of Whitehall, Ill., and Kyle Lake of CHS Carrollton in Carrollton, Ill. They will be honored at an awards banquet hosted by TFI at the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif., where they will also represent the 4R program during the trade show.

Throughout the year they will also be part of TFI’s outreach efforts to promote fertilizer management practices by hosting farm field days, participating in conference panels and speaking on behalf of 4Rs to their farming peers.

Two new field managers join Soil Health Partnership team

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Two new field managers have joined the Soil Health Partnership (SHP), a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Abigail Peterson and Alex Fiock will help manage the growing number of farmers enrolled in the program in Illinois and Indiana.

SHP field managers help new farmers get started in the program with identifying the practices that will work best for them to improve soil health on their farms, and assist with implementation, soil sampling and education. Field managers also help organize, attend and offer presentations at field days.

Peterson, a Certified Crop Advisor, will work in southern Illinois, and joins current Illinois Field Manager Jim Isermann in working with more than 30 farmers enrolled in that state. She joined SHP after two years with DuPont Pioneer, and is a graduate of Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy.

Fiock will manage northern Indiana. He grew up in Bluffton with a love of farming, fostered by his grandfather. He joins current Indiana Field Manager Hans Kok in helping with the 30 farmers in Indiana. Prior to joining the partnership, he worked in seed sales covering 15 Indiana counties and is a graduate of Purdue University, majoring in natural resource environmental science with a focus in agronomy and soil science.

Owens named forestry agribusiness development consultant

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With more than 13 years of experience in the forestry industry, Neil Owens has been appointed forestry agribusiness development consultant for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA).

This new position is the result of realignment of resources and staff positions within the TDA to better address agribusiness growth and development. Owens transitions from the role of state forest program specialist with TDA’s Division of Forestry.

He has a history of forestry consulting in the private sector prior to joining TDA, providing management strategies, promoting sustainable forestry initiatives and managing more than 20,000 acres of timberland for investment firms and private landowners. A West Virginia native, he moved to Tennessee to obtain his bachelor of science degree in resource management from the University of Tennessee.

Three new directors join Indiana Farm Bureau board

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana Farm Bureau (INFB) welcomed three new directors to its state board. Joining the existing 10 board members is Kermit J. Paris representing District 8, Dr. Marybeth Feutz representing District 9 and Bob Geswein representing District 10.

All three new board members were voted into their positions in late 2017 by INFB member delegates in their district. Board members serve three-year terms and can serve no more than four successive terms.

Paris is filling the position previously held by Mark Bacon, also of Rush County. He and his wife, Diane, own and operate Clifty Creek Farm in southern Rush County and two farms in Shelby County, and he and his brothers own Lone Hill Farms, Inc. in Boone, Fayette and Fountain counties.

Feutz, who lives in Gibson County, is filling the position previously held by Philip Springstun of Warrick County. She has a degree in veterinary medicine, holds a separate Ph.D. in equine respiratory disease and is a consultant for the veterinary hospital owned by her husband, John, and his father. The family farms, maintaining a cow-calf herd that includes registered Angus cattle, and also raise hay and sell produce.

Geswein, who lives in Floyd County, is filling the position previously held by Robert L. Schickel of Harrison County. He is an energy advisor for Harrison Rural Electric Membership Cooperative, a position he’s held for more than 22 years, where he’s presented around 1,000 energy seminars. He owns a small farm that produces corn and soybeans.

Case IH honors young FB farmers and ranchers

RACINE, Wis. — As part of its ongoing commitment to support the next generation of agricultural leaders, Case IH awarded three new Farmall 50A tractors and six large tool chests with $500 Case IH parts gift cards to finalists in each category of the 2018 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Young Farmers & Ranchers awards program.

Of the nearly 100 participants, the nine sets of finalists recognized by Case IH were: Casey and Stacey Phillips of Virginia, Jenny Freeborn of Oregon, Justin and Lori McClellan of Virginia, Robert and Lindsay Elliot of Tennessee, Wade and Shelby Hampton of Maryland, Jared Knock of South Dakota, Matt Jakubik of Michigan, Ben and Kate Furnish of Kentucky and Cassie Lyman of Arizona.

INFB Women’s Leadership Committee rep named to AFBF

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana Farm Bureau’s (INFB) District 8 Women’s Leadership Committee representative Cindy Ramsey was elected to the American Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Leadership Committee board at the recent AFBF convention.

The women’s leadership program engages women with the training and education they need to become powerful advocates for modern agriculture. Ramsey, of Shelbyville, Ind., will serve as the Midwest representative, representing Farm Bureau members in several states, including Indiana.

Ramsey also serves as District 8 education and outreach coordinator for INFB, where she represents members in Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Fayette, Franklin, Johnson, Rush, Shelby and Union counties. She and her family, including husband Phil, farm corn, soybeans, wheat and hay in Shelby County. They also own Ramsey Farm Ag Enterprises, a farm drainage and excavation business.

The Ramseys were recently honored at the 2017 INFB State Convention, where they were named Indiana Farm Family of the Year by Beck's Hybrids and Indiana AgriNews.

Hoosier Ag Today expands broadcast staff with Pfeiffer

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ZIONSVILLE, Ind. — Hoosier Ag Today, Indiana’s leading farm radio network, is proud to announce the addition of Eric Pfeiffer to the largest and most experienced farm broadcast staff in Indiana.

A native Hoosier educated at Purdue University, Pfeiffer has extensive experience in radio and communications technology. He will manage the news gathering operation for both radio and digital distribution and will work closely with the award-winning broadcast team of Gary Truitt and Andy Eubank.

Pfeiffer has served as news director for WSAL/WLHM radio in Logansport, Ind. and, most recently, as Telecommunications Systems specialist at Purdue. He will be based in West Lafayette.

Logan County family honored with sustainable ag award

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Agriculture has named the Bishop family of PrairiErth Farm in Logan County the winners of the annual R.J. Vollmer Award for Sustainable Agriculture.

Dave Bishop has been farming his 300-acre PrairiErth Farm outside Atlanta, Ill., since 1981. Over time, his sons Graham and Hans joined the farm and broadened the range of enterprises. His daughter, Kristin, is an elementary school educator and shares her expertise as she helps facilitate school tours on the farm.

Bishop farmed conventional corn, soybeans, wheat and oats in the early 1980s, but began to transition to synthetic-chemical free practices in 1985. During the drought of 1988, he observed that chemical-free crops did significantly better than the conventional crops because he believed the soil held more water and the plants were less stressed.

At that time, he began transforming more of his fields, becoming a certified organic farm in 2004. PrairiErth now produces and markets a wide range of crops and livestock, including organic corn, soybeans, wheat, livestock forages, vegetables, fruit, honey and organic beef, pork and eggs. This range of crops, and the link to other local businesses, illustrate the farm's dedication to "diversity, soil health and lasting relationships with our community."

Perdue names five to Indiana FSA State Committee

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue recently announced the individuals who will serve on the Indiana USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Committee. The committee is responsible for the oversight of farm programs and county committee operations, resolving appeals from the agriculture community and helping to keep producers informed about FSA programs.

Each state committee has five members, one chair and four members. The individuals appointed to serve on this committee include: Committee Chair Ken Rulon, Arcadia; Kim Ames, Fillmore; Bill Gelfius, Hartsville; Clint Orr, Forest; and Kirk Perkins, Wolcottville.

Central Life Sciences promotes Harris to VP sales

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Central Life Sciences, whose founders invented insect growth regulator (IGR) technology more than 45 years ago, announced the promotion of Tracy L. Harris III to vice president of Sales for its professional brands.

In his expanded role, Harris will oversee the sales leadership responsibilities for the professional pest management, vector, livestock, farm and feed, grain storage and processing, turf and ornamental and horticulture segments. Harris has been with Central Life Sciences for more than 16 years, most recently serving as senior director of Sales for the Professional Agricultural Products division since 2014.

Prior to joining Central Life Sciences, he was the director of Sales Operations with eMerge Interactive, Inc. and was the regional manager for Feed Additives for Roche Vitamins, Inc.

Agrible announces leadership change, positions for next phase

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Agrible, Inc. announced last month that Chris Harbourt has decided to step down as its CEO. Harbourt is one of eight co-founders of Agrible and has been with the company since its formation.

Dennis E. Beard, a board member, will serve as interim CEO of Agrible. He has more than three decades of business experience and has held C-level positions in various technology and service companies in the past. He is currently a managing partner with Serra Ventures, which led the initial seed round of funding for Agrible. Additionally, the board has promoted David Stanko, formerly CFO at Agrible, as its new president and chief operating officer.

Harbourt said, “I have decided to move on to pursue other passions in agriculture, investing, teaching, and business. I will continue to support Agrible and look forward to Agrible’s next phase of growth.”

Submit nominee for 2018 Women in Agriculture award

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Each year, the Purdue Women in Agriculture (WIA) team recognizes Indiana women who are leaders and innovators and who have contributed to the success of Indiana's agricultural industry.

Currently, the team is accepting applications for the 2018 Purdue Women in Agriculture Awards. Nominees will be placed in either the Leadership or Achievement categories for award consideration as deemed appropriate by the WIA team. Women who are interested in the award may nominate themselves, or be nominated by someone else.

Winners will be recognized at the Indiana State Fair and will receive a complimentary registration and overnight accommodation at the Midwest Women in Agriculture conference in the year after their award is presented.

To learn more, contact Lori Bouslog at or 765-492-5332, or Kamille Brawner at or 812-352-3033. Applications and letters of support must be received by May 1 to be considered for the 2018 awards.

Beef industry’s best honored at IBCA awards banquet

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana Beef Cattle Assoc. (IBCA) honored the state’s best at its Annual Convention in Indianapolis. Beef producers from across the state attended to salute the men and women who provided the leadership for the Indiana beef industry over the past year or over their lifetime.

IBCA leadership presented the 2017 Friend of the Industry award to Willoughby Livestock Sales of Sheridan. A staunch supporter of the Indiana beef industry, Willoughby Sales has charitably hosted the stalling auction in advance of the Hoosier Beef Congress for the past seven years.

To honor cattlemen who possess beef management skills and leadership abilities, the IBCA awarded the 2017 IBCA Young Cattleman of the Year to Brad Shelton of Bedford. He serves as superintendent of the Feldun Purdue Ag Center and the Indiana Beef Evaluation and Economics Feeding (IBEEF).

The prestigious Outstanding Cattleman of the Year was awarded to Doug Gerber of Richmond. He and his late wife, Maxine, chased their dream of building a premier herd of Hereford Cattle into the Gerber Land and Cattle Co. Gerber is known and respected worldwide for his contributions to the Hereford breed.

The most prestigious award each year is the coveted Robert C. Peterson Lifetime Achievement award, which went to Clark Sennett of Waynetown. Sennett Cattle Co. markets 1,200-1,500 head of fed cattle each year. In addition, it operates both a purebred Limousin cowherd and a commercial crossbred herd.

The care and forethought put into the operation was rewarded in 2008, as the Sennetts were given the Region 1 NCBA National Environmental Stewardship Award. Clark began his service on the IBCA board of directors in 1996 as the Feeder Representative and then IBCA president, in 2001.