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Editor's Note: Trevor Thorley is senior vice president, sales and marketing for U.S. operations of Bayer Corporation Agriculture Division. He has been with Bayer for 21 years, serving in a variety of sales and marketing positions both in the U. S. and in the United Kingdom .

Prior to his current position, he was vice president of the Garden and Professional Care group at Bayer. He is the son of a farmer from Lincolnshire, England, and he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from Newcastle University in the UK.

AM: The acquisition of Aventis CropScience by Bayer Corporation to form Bayer CropScience is another in a long line of recent mergers in the ag industry. What's the biggest marketing challenge you face as sellers of crop protection products to your customers?

TT: The crop protection activities of Bayer and Aventis are being organized as a separate legal entity named Bayer CropScience. The merger of the two companies will allow sustainable growth and leadership in the agricultural industry. This integration has to occur seamlessly, so products and services are continually available to customers.

AM: How long will the transition take in integrating the sales and marketing functions of the groups into one cohesive organization?

TT: Bayer Crop Protection and Aventis CropScience will continue to operate as competitive companies and will independently sell their individual product lines for the 2002 spring season. Because considerable planning is in progress for organizing a single company, once the transfer of ownership occurs the merging of the two organizations will proceed.

AM: What's the number one reason your customers should be excited about this new consolidation?

TT: From the outset, Bayer CropScience will have the resources, know-how and product range to offer customers the support they need in the competitive and dynamic world of today's agriculture industry.

The combining of Aventis CropScience with Bayer Crop Protection brings together two very successful leaders in the industry with complementary strengths. The combination is an ideal fit for Bayer CropScience to have an outstanding national product offering.

Bayer CropScience will allow integration of existing research and product development of the two companies with new biotechnology developments. The new Bayer CropScience will also achieve a greater presence in the seed business of the U. S., and this will allow development of enhanced crops including higher yielding and better end-trait varieties.

AM: How will retailers be impacted by the consolidation of these two companies?

TT: The business relationship with retailers will be positively impacted. The expanded business base of Bayer CropScience will allow innovative marketing targeted at improved and efficient business programs for retailers.

AM: These are troubling times. What's the best news you can give your customers about this merger and agriculture as the new year begins?

TT: The formation of Bayer CropScience shows more than ever how we are living in a global economy and the high degree of respect that is given to those producing agricultural products worldwide. Bayer recognizes that agriculture must be a core business for the company and that agriculture is still a stable growth market. The formation of this new company will have benefits throughout the agriculture industry, especially for farmers and growers. Growers of most crops produced in the U.S. are assured of being able to do business with a highly reputable company that will be in business to assist them for the long term. AM

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