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.
Hillyer began his career as a field editor for Wallaces Farmer and cut his journalistic teeth covering crop protection and the industry. He's also worked as the associate editor and editor for Soybean Digest before working as an account supervisor for Miller Meester Advertising and then returned as managing editor at Hogs Today (Farm Journal). For the past 16 years, Hillyer has been writing for The Progressive Farmer magazine, serving as senior editor, executive editor and his current role as editor in chief.
The CropLife Ambassador of the Year Award was first presented in 1993. It is designed to recognize an ambassador for their efforts in promoting the crop protection industry through presentations to students or consumers. This year's recipient is Roger Henderson, Oil Dri Corporation of America, which is based in Spencerville, Ohio.
Since starting in 2008, as an ambassador, he has made 15 presentations and reached more than 600 students. He's traveled the highways in Indiana and Ohio to make sure they get a presentation. Henderson understands the importance of talking with students about the benefits of agriculture and makes time to do it and enjoys spending time with students.
Finally, MACA President Jason Paris presented the association's most coveted award—the Dean Roy Achievement Award—named in honor of one of the organization's founders for "Exceptional Service to MACA and the CropLife Industry" for contributing the most by their selfless service.
The winner is selected in secret by the serving president, and Paris selected Kevin Greene, DuPont, as the 2013 recipient. Paris cited Greene's commitment to MACA's Distribution and Environment Committee. Currently, Greene serves as senior hazardous materials distribution safety consultant for DuPont Global Logistics and lives in the Mobile, Ala. area.
"Greene is committed and serious as he works for the benefit of MACA and the crop protection industry," stated Paris. "He wants to provide accurate information and make sure the industry follows the federal rules and regulations when it comes to transporting crop protection products efficiently and safely."
Kevin breaks the legal definitions down so that MACA members understand them and know what they mean. If he doesn't know the answer, he'll work to get the answer and is diligent about following up to ensure the accuracy.
"Greene is one of those guys that quietly goes about his job and doesn't make a big deal about it. He's always ready to help, does it courteously as his main priority is to makes sure that crop protection products are moved safely," concluded Paris. "He believes in MACA."
Greene is the 32st person to receive the Dean Roy Achievement Award.