MACA honors industry leaders at meeting
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) honored several industry, media and academic leaders at its recent annual meeting in Denver.
The association's Industry Vision Award was presented to Richard Gearheard, chief executive officer and president of retail at Crop Production Services, Inc., Fort Collins, Colo. The award is presented to an individual who's devoted their career to promoting and protecting the interests of the entire crop protection industry that supports American and midwestern agriculture and has shown leadership roles within their company and in other industry-wide organizations.
Gearheard has been senior vice president of Agrium Inc. since August 1996 and has been its president of Retail Business since May 13, 2006. He served as senior vice president of retail at Western Farm Service, Inc. and served as senior vice president for North America Retail at Agrium Inc. Gearheard also worked in various capacities with other Agrium Retail companies such as Western Farm Service as vice president, Northwest Region and Crop Production Services as vice president and chief financial officer. He's known for his accessibility by employees and encouraging them to be active in various organizations such as MACA, CropLife America and state agricultural chemical associations.
The MACA Educator of the Year Award was presented to Bruce Potter, Extension integrated pest management specialist at the Southwest Minnesota Experiment Station, Lamberton, Minn. He has his B.S. and M.S. in entomology from the University of Minnesota. For nearly 16 years, Potter has worked with the U. of M. Extension. The award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated significant contributions to American agriculture, especially in the MACA region. Also, the award winner is recognized as having evidence of consistency in educating the public on the values of production agriculture.
Potter's current research and Extension efforts are focused on the management of insects, nematodes, and plant disease, particularly the interactions between crop production systems, crop growth and crop pest populations. Since 1999, Potter has been writing an IPM newsletter and is recognized for being on the front edge of emerging crop production challenges in southwest Minnesota.
The Ruth White Media Award is presented to an individual who's demonstrated an evidence of consistent, objective and accurate reporting on American agriculture and the myriad of issues involved in modern agriculture, including the CropLife industry. This year's winner is Gregg Hillyer, editor in chief for The Progressive Farmer. He earned an ag journalism degree from Iowa State University and has worked in ag communications for 30 years.