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Best of NAMA 2020

Adam Skolnik joins the International division of Valmont Industries as VP of International Project Business.

Prior to joining Valmont, Skolnik served as Pres of Senninger Irrigation and was instrumental in their expansion into international markets.

CLAAS is sponsoring an around the world journey on one of its tractors to raise funds for the CARE charity, an organization that tackles the underlying causes of poverty.

In 300 days, Matthias Lause, Bad Dribung, Germany, is expected to travel through 17 countries in five continents with a total distance of approximately 15,500 miles. Germany, Italy, Morocco, Spain, France, Belgium, U.S.A., Canada, Mexico, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa, Lesotho, Russia, Ukraine and Poland are all included in his travel plans.

The tractor will be towing a trailer, which will serve as a home for Matthias during his trip.

Donations will fund a charity project that provides money to fund school gardens in Lesotho, Africa. These "gardens for life" aim to improve the nutritional state of children and young people and to give them the opportunity to attend school.

Monsanto states letters from more than 500 concerned individuals have been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requesting action to stop deceptive milk labeling and advertising.

The letters outline how certain milk labels and promotions that differentiate milk based on farmer use of POSILAC bovine somatotropin (bST) are misleading to consumers and do not meet the standards set by laws and regulations for either of the agencies.

Also, the company announces it has entered into an agreement to buy 2,300 acres of Oahu, HI, farmland. It currently employs 600 full-time and 100 seasonal employees statewide in R&D and for seed production.

Geri M. Berdak joins the company as the Dir of Public Affairs. In this role, she will be responsible for leading Monsanto's communications for the Oilseeds and Chemistry businesses.

Berdak was the Global Dir of Corp Communications for The Solae Company. Prior to Solae, she was the Dir of the United Soybean Board's edible oil and soyfoods

The Progressive Agricultural Foundation, Birmingham, AL, creates the Methamphetamine Awareness Program.

Monsanto, Agriliance, Agrium, PotashCorp and the Rosen Family Foundation have joined forces to provide financial support for creation of the program which will help educate rural America about the financial, physical and mental damage meth does to users and their communities.

A multi-state, multi-disciplinary research and education program for the Midwest dairy industry has been launched by ten Midwestern land-grant universities and will be headquartered in the University of Illinois Department of Animal Sciences.

The new program - the Midwest Dairy Consortium (MDC) - is supported by colleges of agriculture at the University of Illinois, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Nebraska, North Dakota State University, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, South Dakota State University, and the University of Wisconsin.

The first corporate partners are MSC Co. of Dundee, IL, and Standard Nutrition of Omaha, NE.

"The mission of the MDC is to maximize use of scarce financial resources and create new support mechanisms to enhance student education and training, promote research directly relevant to the Midwest dairy industry, and deliver information to end-users more effectively," says James Drackley, a U of I professor of animal sciences and the MDC's director.

WestfaliaSurge, Naperville, IL, announces the acquisition of J. Houle & Fils Inc., the leading manufacturer of livestock manure-handling equipment in North America.

Houle will operate independently as a sister company to WestfaliaSurge, Inc. WestfaliaSurge is dedicated to growing the equipment product line globally out of the Houle headquarters and manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada.

Houle has more than 100 dealerships across North America. Dealerships for both Houle and WestfaliaSurge will continue to offer their current respective product lines.

Agrium Inc. announces it has acquired a 19.6% equity position in a Chinese specialty fertilizer company, Hanfeng Evergreen Inc. (Hanfeng) for $63 million. In addition, Agrium has the opportunity to participate in a proposed joint venture between Hanfeng and PetroChina Ningxia Petrochemical Company (PetroChina).

It is expected that this joint venture will build and operate Sulphur Coated Urea (SCU) plants in Ningxia and the surrounding provinces.

Montana Tractors, Springdale, AR, announces Ted Wade, Vice Chmn and Co-Owner of the company
will assume the responsibilities of CEO.

Montana Tractors also promotes Tom Patterson to VP of Mktg & Sls, creating two new RSD positions, one for the Eastern one-half of the U.S, and the other for the Western one-half.

Bob Goltz is promoted to VP of Operations.

Scott Finley is named VP of Supply Chain, with the areas of Procurement and Logistics now reporting to him.

KINZE Manufacturing, Inc. and Ag Leader Technology, Inc. partner to develop new planting technology that significantly improves the precision and control of rowcrop planters while expanding the farmer's crop management capabilities.

The new KINZE Vision system is based on the Ag Leader Insight display with touch screen control (on a large color display) to manage compatible KINZE electronic seed monitoring and variable rate drive systems. It also includes factory-installed Tru Count air-actuated, single row clutches for manual or GPS auto-swath control to enable growers to engage and disengage individual planter sections at headlands, pointrows, waterways or previously planted areas. In addition, growers will be able to easily track their planting operations by mapping and recording hybrids and varieties (including split planter configurations).

The Broin Companies announce they will build their 30th ethanol production facility near Fostoria, OH.

In other news, the Broin Companies announce their name change to Poet.

Poet President and CEO Jeff Broin says they wanted a name that would reflect the unique nature of their organization. "We wanted a name that would represent, rather than describe, who we are and what we do," Broin explains.

"As a poet takes everyday words and turns them into something valuable and beautiful; we use creativity that comes from common sense to leave things better than we found them."

The several Broin operating units will be renamed as follows: Broin Companies changes to Poet; Broin Management changes to Poet Plant Management; Broin & Associates changes to Poet Design & Construction; Ethanol Products changes to Poet Ethanol Products; Dakota Gold Marketing changes to Poet Nutrition; and Broin Enterprises changes to Poet Research Center.

John Deere acquires Conserva Pak Seeding Systems from Vale Farms Ltd., Saskatchewan, Canada.

Vale Farms Ltd., will continue to market and support existing Conserva Pak branded products for the remainder of the spring 2007 seeding season.

Beginning June 2007, the new hydraulic shank machines can be ordered through the John Deere dealer channel.

John Deere also introduces the new OptiGro System for corn and wheat to help optimize yields while improving use-efficiency of nitrogen and other inputs.

Dow AgroSciences LLC announces a realignment of its field sales territories and responsibilities. Sales representatives now will service both crop protection products and its line of range and pasture herbicides.

The Range & Pasture sales force becomes part of the Crops group, and will assume responsibility for both product lines in predominately range and pasture territories.

Rick Borgogni, former Range & Pasture DSM, is named U.S. Range & Pasture Mkt Mgr.

Adjustments to territory lines and responsibilities will make it easier for dealers to access Dow AgroSciences support for all its herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and seed, says Kim Bohlander, Sls Leader for Northern Crops Region.

CF Industries Holdings, Inc. relocates its corporate headquarters to Deerfield, IL. The company had been based in Long Grove, IL, since 1976.

The new address is: 4 Parkway North, Suite 400, Deerfield, IL 60015-2590, ph: 847/405-2400.

The Alamo Group Inc. announces it has acquired Henke Manufacturing Corporation.

The former principal owners of Henke, Todd Lawson, Matt Hood and Win Zoellner, will remain active with the company as it becomes part of Alamo Group's North American Industrial Division.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announce the approval of the first U.S. and Canada joint label for a pesticide product under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The product, marketed by Gowan, is named Far-Go in the U.S. and Avadex in Canada.

Currently, 11 other pesticide products are slated for NAFTA label development.

Komie Hossini joins Bayer CropScience Canada, as Corp Comms Specialist.

Hossini will be responsible for a number of PR initiatives including managing the Intranet and the new Canadian Internet Web site.

Syngenta announces the acquisition of the Fischer group, headquartered in Germany, specializes in the breeding and marketing of flower crops.

Fischer is highly complementary to Syngenta Flowers, bringing leadership in three of the ten best-selling flower crops to its existing portfolio.

Carhartt, Dearborn, MI, introduces a new line of durable and comfortable workwear especially for Rural lifestyle women.

The line will be widely released to Carhartt's North American retailers this month.

For more information, contact Carhartt B2B Rep Tom Kiddle,, 734/397-4943.

Randy Podany joins ABG as a Dir on the Alignment Solutions team. As Dir, Podany will lead strategy projects and coach members of ABG's strategy team.

With more than 20 years of experience in consulting and operations improvement, Podany most recently was VP of ERP Services with Alliance Consulting Group, Inc., Chicago, IL.

David Hollinrake also joins ABG as Sr Bus Development Mgr.

Farmers nationwide who purchased the BASF herbicide POAST, may now be eligible for cash benefits from a $62.5 million fund established from a class action lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims BASF fraudulently marketed the same herbicide as different products - POAST and POAST Plus - at different prices to obtain inflated prices for POAST from "minor crop" farmers. Due to another lawsuit, this class action excludes North Dakota residents who purchased POAST in that state.

For more information about the fund, go to or call 800/678-9587.

Scott Whitman, Minneapolis MN, announces the launch of AgriLife Studios, offering custom assignment photography and campaign-ready stock images to the ag production and rural lifestyle market.

AgriLife Studios teams Whitman, a veteran agrimarketer and founder of MWI Communications Group, with the award-winning photographic talent of Shawn Nielsen of Rogers, MN. Nielsen has over 13 years experience as a commercial photographer, shooting projects for national manufacturing and consumer accounts.

To view the AgriLife portfolio, visit

Farmland prices in the western Cornbelt continue to soar. Landowner newsletter reports:

For the second time in two months, another piece of prime Iowa farmland sold for more than $6,500 an acre in late March. The buyer is a farmer who intends to farm the land.

What's driving these eye-popping prices? The ethanol boom and the accompanying strong corn prices. The result has been a land rush that's ballooned land values throughout the Midwest, with the strongest gains noted west of the Mississippi.

Nebraska land values roared 14% higher for the year ending February 1, 2007, according to preliminary results of the annual land values survey conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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