Industry News: Verdesian CEO & Seed World Honor

Verdesian Announces New CEO

Verdesian Life Sciences, a plant health and nutrition company, including peanut inoculant products, recently announced that its board of directors has named Kenneth M. Avery chief executive officer. Avery succeeds Verdesian CEO J.J. Grow who will move into a new role as chairman.

“Kenny is a dynamic leader who challenges teams and expectations to help companies grow and succeed in diverse global marketplaces,” said Grow. “He has shown that he can successfully bring people together to enhance operational efficiency, implement new customer-centric approaches and improve pipeline commercialization – all areas of opportunity and growth for Verdesian.”

“Verdesian is in a unique position to provide crop nutrient, seed treatment and biological solutions as well as value creation to farmers across the globe,” said Avery. “I am looking forward to working with the exceptional teams and people at Verdesian who are already hard at work to bring new technologies and greater value to farmers.”

Avery previously served as vice president of Monsanto’s division for global operations, vegetables and Asia row crops, as well as vice president of the company’s global business operations. He led the Asia Pacific vegetables division at Monsanto, and served as regional business director and later strategic accounts lead for row crops in the United States.

He served as vice president and chief financial officer at Delta & Pine Land Company. He was a partner with Arthur Andersen LLP in Memphis, Tennessee, from 1990 to 2002, where he primarily served public and large private companies in both auditing and consulting roles.

Avery earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Mississippi State University and is a certified public accountant.

Clark Receives Seed World Honor

Justin Clark

As recognition for his accomplishments in the seed industry, Justin Clark, Technical Market Specialist with BASF, was recently selected as Seed World’s annual Future Giant of the Seed Industry.

Applicants for the Future Giant of the Seed Industry award must display a commitment to the seed industry and declare an intention to pursue a career in the industry. Finalists are viewed as leaders and innovators who will help shape the future of the industry and have demonstrated commitment to learning and achievement in advanced education or the workplace.

“To be recognized by my peers and colleagues is quite an honor,” said Clark. “I’ve been involved in the seed industry for a good portion of my life, and I look forward to furthering my education and career in seed.”

Dr. Gary Fellows, Manager, Plant Health and Seed Treatment for BASF, who recommended Clark, said, “Justin’s understanding of mechanical systems and coatings technology makes him an invaluable resource and voice for the seed industry and our company.”

Prior to BASF, Clark served as a Field Development Specialist II with Becker Underwood Inc. Clark was responsible for designing, coordinating, and analyzing research trials for new biological seed enhancement products with key researchers.
Clark received his B.S. degree in agricultural and Extension education and his M.S. degree in entomology and plant pathology from the University of Tennessee. He is currently pursuing a doctorate from Texas Tech University.


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