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Jamie Williamson is promoted to head of marketing for Golden Harvest Seeds. He will take over for Chuck Lee who has been promoted to product line head #&151; corn for Syngenta. Williamson has been with Golden Harvest since 1994, starting as a summer intern. In 1995, he was named a DSM for northeast Nebraska and was promoted to RSM for Minnesota and northern Iowa, where he has served the company since 1999.

The EPA announces it has approved a natural refuge option for Monsanto's Bollgard II insect-protected cotton planted from east Texas, excluding some Texas counties.

Cotton producers in these eligible regions can take advantage of non-cotton crops and other plants as a refuge for certain pests and will not be required to plant a non-Bt cotton refuge for Bollgard II cotton. A structured, non-Bt cotton refuge continues to be required as part of an insect resistance management (IRM) program for Bollgard cotton in all states, and for Bollgard II cotton planted outside eligible areas.

First National Investment Banking, a full-service investment bank and wholly-owned subsidiary of First National of Nebraska, Inc., announces it has acquired the investment banking firm of Cybus Capital Markets, LLC (Cybus), Des Moines, IA. Cybus will retain its name and all current employees, but will be operated as a division of FNIB, according to Clark D. Lauritzen, the firm's Sr VP/GM.

With more than 200 clients, and over $3 billion in closed transactions, Cybus is a leading private investment banking firm specializing in providing financial advisory services to middle-market businesses, according to James Eiler, Cybus' Managing Partner who will continue in his current role at FNIB.

McCormick International USA, announces three new members of its Norcross, GA, customer support team, including: Paul Jones, Product Support and Warranty Mgr; Philip Bradshaw, Svc and Dealer Support Mgr, and Garret Hortman, Parts CSR.

Jones is transferring from McCormick Int'l in Doncaster, England, Bradshaw was most recently with Kubota and began his career with Int'l Harvester, and Hortman had been with an ag equipment dealer.

GROWMARK, Inc. and Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) announce the formation of a joint venture called AgriVisor, LLC. The venture brings together the organizations' grain and livestock marketing analysis and contract execution functions to offer farmers marketing tools.

Under the new ownership agreement, AgriVisor LLC will also provide premium grain market information subscriptions, new grain risk management programs and assistance in the execution of farmer options and futures trades. All services will be provided through grain elevators and MID-CO branch offices, the risk management subsidiary of GROWMARK.

AgriVisor, LLC will continue to provide market information and advice communicated to IFB members through FarmWeek, the RFD Illinois Radio Network, and the IFB Web site.

HM Capital Partners LLC, a Dallas, TX, private equity firm, J&F Participacoes S.A. (J&F), which owns 77% of Brazil's JBS S.A., Latin America's largest beef processor, and Swift & Company, the world's third-largest processor of fresh beef and pork products, announce HM Capital and J&F have signed a definitive agreement under which J&F will acquire Swift in an all-cash transaction representing an enterprise value of approximately $1.4 billion.

Wesley Mendonca Batista is named Swift's Pres/CEO and a Dir replacing Sam B. Rovit. Batista was the Exec Dir of Operations of JBS, the VP of its board and a J&F partner. He is a member of the JBS founding family and has been employed in the beef industry his entire career, having served in various capacities at JBS since 1987.

Boehringer Ingelheim (BIVI) announces Dr. Erin Johnson has joined the BIVI swine division as a field veterinarian providing technical support for its swine team in the eastern Corn Belt. She had been with The Maschhoffs Inc.

Marc White joins as Sls Rep, responsible for IN, MI and KY sales regions. He had been with Pfizer swine sales and national accounts.

Dale Kavan joins as Sls Rep, responsible for NE and KS sales territories. He most recently was with Akey.

Monsanto announces the formation of the International Seed Group, Inc. (ISG), a holding company to invest in vegetable and fruit seed businesses with capital and technology investments. The cornerstone of the venture is Holland-based Western Seed, which specializes in tomato hybrids as well as other vegetable and fruit crops.

"ISG will complement our Seminis business, providing vegetable growers with greater access to innovations from the brands they already rely on and through the distribution channels that they are familiar with," noted Kerry Preete, who leads Monsanto's vegetable seed division, including Seminis and the new holding company.

Seed industry veterans Anthony Padgett and David Atkinson are under contract to manage ISG. recently released data from its new "Compensation Benchmark Review" for the swine and crop protection sectors. The Review is an online tool that allows organizations within the agribusiness industry to benchmark compensation practices.

Many other sectors are being completed for release this summer and fall. The next sector to be released is the commodity and bio fuels sector.

For more information, contact Mary Barefoot,, 800/929-8975 or

Cibus LLC, San Diego, CA, a trait development company, names James Radtke, Ph.D., VP of Product Development. Based in St. Paul, MN, Radtke will serve as a link between lab programs, the field and ultimately the customer.

Prior to joining Cibus, Radtke was Global Temperate Corn Breeding Leader for Dow AgroSciences. He has also worked for Northrup King, Sungene Technologies and Agrigenetics.

Mahindra appoints Anirban Ghosh as Pres, Mahindra USA, Inc. (MUSA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., Tomball, TX. Ghosh replaces Derek Johannes, who will assume new responsibilities in the Mahindra Group.

Ghosh joined Mahindra in 1999. Prior to that, he worked in the Indian businesses of Xerox and Hewlett-Packard.

The company announces the new "Mahindra Tractors Women in Ag Scholarships" program.

Mahindra USA will award 10 outstanding women a $1,000 college scholarship for use during the 2007/2008 school year. Scholarship winners will be chosen by a committee based on their interest in agriculture as a career as well as academic performance and leadership.

"Women are a major and growing force in American agriculture at all levels," said Ghosh. "Our goal is to support the educational opportunities for women interested in pursuing a career in agriculture, whose ultimate desire is to help sustain the family farm and rural lifestyle."

ABG, an Adayana company, opens an office in Washington, D.C.

It has been working with government and nonprofit organizations for most of its 28-year history, helping align strategy and improve overall performance, largely through training for staff and volunteers. Recent partnerships include training and development for USDA Rural Development, on-boarding strategy and implementation for the National Pork Board and scenario planning Soy 2020 with the United Soybean Board.

Heading up the office is ABG's Sr VP Rob McClelland. It is located at 201 Massachusetts Ave, NE.

Stuart Birrell, Assoc Professor in Iowa State University's agricultural and biosystems engineering department, has been named to fill a new professorship created by the founders and owners of KINZE Manufacturing Inc. in Williamsburg.

The Kinze Manufacturing Professorship in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering was established in January 2007 and will be funded by annual gifts from Kinze founder John Kinzenbaw over a three-year period.

Hypro, New Brighton, MN, announces the addition of John Lund, Global Sls Dir, and Karl Stoltenberg, Bus Development Mgr, to its Spray Group.

Lund had been with Donaldson Company. Stoltenberg had been working as an independent contractor for Elucitech and Honeywell. Prior to that, he had been with Nicollet Process Engineering and Intel Corp.

Chemilizer Products, Inc. appoints Mike Buchanan as Gen'l Sls Mgr. Formerly with New Advantage, he will oversee Chemilizer's expansion into the water treatment, fertigation, and swimming pool markets, as well as the company's well-established animal health presence.

Syngenta announces Merck & Co. Inc. has granted it an exclusive license to use Merck's manufacturing technology for the insecticide abamectin in the field of crop protection, seed treatment, turf and ornamentals.

"This license enables Syngenta to significantly expand manufacturing capacity of abamectin while retaining the high purity associated with existing Merck manufacturing processes. It underwrites our investment to support the growth of Agri-Mek, Avicta, Avid and Proclaim, all key Syngenta brands based on abamectin," said Mike Stepan, insecticide product line head.

Rotam North America, Inc., the exclusive seller in North America of products produced by Rotam Agrochemical Co., Ltd., Hong Kong, announces a U.S. expansion with new headquarters in Miami, FL, and two new strategic managers, Thomas Chavez as Country Mgr, and Mike Adams as Mktg Mgr.

Chavez has held manager or director level positions in sales and marketing with Abbott Laboratories, DuPont, Agtrol (NuFarm), Stauffer Chemical and John Taylor Fertilizer.

Most recently Adams was with Syngenta Seeds. He has also worked for Stauffer Chemical and Zeneca.

J. R. Simplot Company, names Dave Dufault as VP/GM for its AgriBusiness Retail Division. He began his career as a crop consultant and joined Simplot Grower Solutions in 1989.

Deere & Company plans to acquire the Ningbo Benye Tractor & Automobile Manufacture Co. Ltd. business, located in Ningbo in southern China and is seeking final review of the transaction by Chinese government authorities.

Through the acquisition, Deere will expand the product line offered to Chinese farmers and enhance its worldwide capacity to produce low horsepower tractors. Benye mainly builds tractors in the 20- to 50-hp range while Deere currently builds tractors in the 60- to 120-hp range at its current China joint venture tractor factory, located in Tianjin.

Deere has provided products and services to the Chinese agricultural market since 1976 and has manufactured equipment in China since 1997, when it entered a joint venture to build combines at a factory in

Iowa State University's College of Agriculture is renamed Iowa State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The new name Dean Wendy Wintersteen says, "more accurately describes both the long-held and the modern emphasis and breadth of the college and will help us communicate our contemporary programs."

Agricore United (AU) and Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Inc. announce AU's shareholders approve the continuance of AU under the Canada Business Corporations Act and the plan of arrangement pursuant to which the Pool will acquire all of the outstanding limited voting common shares of AU and AU will redeem all of the outstanding Series A convertible preferred shares not tendered to the Pool's offers.

AU also announced the appointment of Mayo Schmidt as the new Pres/CEO of AU replacing Brian Hayward who will retire.

Joe Bubon is promoted to Pres of Westchester Farm Management, Champagne, IL, a division within Westchester Group, Inc. Lowell Yager, formerly Pres, will now focus solely on farm management for its Iowa farms.

Also, the company auctions off 899 acres of farmland near DeKalb, IL, for an average of $8,949 per acre. The land was owned by the University of Illinois. The selling price is considered a bellweather by ag land professionals, representing a 20% increase in Illinois farmland value in the past six months.

The American Bankers Association and America's Community Bankers, the nation's two leading advocates for banks of all charter types and sizes, announce their respective boards have approved pursuing a merger with the intention of finalizing it during the fourth quarter of 2007.

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