The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) will be honoring industry leaders at the organization’s Annual Conference & Expo, Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2011, in Boca Raton, Fla. The theme for this year’s ARA Conference is Growing a Sustainable Business, and these award winners know what that means.
Al McQuinn to Receive Jack Eberspacher Lifetime Achievement Award
ARA presents this year’s Jack Eberspacher Lifetime Achievement Award to Al McQuinn. This award is presented annually to an individual whose talents and accomplishments have fundamentally advanced the agricultural retail industry and have been acknowledged by their industry colleagues over the course of their career.
Al McQuinn is the former board chairman and chief executive officer of Ag-Chem Equipment Company, which was purchased by AGCO in 2001. McQuinn founded Ag-Chem Equipment Company in 1963 and grew the company into a world-class manufacturer and marketer of self-propelled equipment generating more than $300,000,000 in sales with more than 1,700 employees. Ag-Chem’s SOILTEQ division was known as the pioneer in the development of site-specific agronomy technology products and services.
McQuinn holds six patents in the area of site-specific farming in precision agriculture. This technology has led to significant efficiency and environmental improvements in agriculture and the use of more sustainable farming practices. Today, Al McQuinn serves as chairman and CEO of QuinnStar Investment Partners and resides in Naples, Fla., with his wife Agnes.
Dan Weber to Receive ARA’s Distinguished Service Award
The ARA Distinguished Service Award honors an individual member of the association who has gone above and beyond the traditional responsibility to support the ag retail industry and the association, making the industry better for all. ARA presents this year’s Distinguished Service Award to Dan Weber, vice president of agronomy with Ceres Solutions.
Dan Weber is a past ARA chairman and board member. While serving on ARA’s board of directors, Weber was extremely involved in membership activities and personally recruited several companies to join ARA. He also helped ARA initiate the highly successful ARA Management Academy at Purdue University.
Weber’s enthusiasm to help address legislative and regulatory challenges facing agricultural retailers was evident when he testified at multiple Congressional committee hearings on behalf of the industry in Washington. Weber and his coworkers at Ceres Solutions have also held educational tours for USDA and EPA officials to help them gain a better understanding of the agricultural retail industry and the latest developments in precision agriculture technology.
2011 Retailer of the Year Award to Be Announced at the ARA Conference
This award is sponsored by Monsanto, ARA and AgProfessional magazine and will be announced during the ARA conference general session on Wednesday, Nov. 30. This award is presented to a retail operation that consistently exceeds their customers’ expectations and serves as a positive example for other retailers through their innovative and sustainable business practices.