In other agribusiness news…

The Angus Foundation, St. Joseph, Missouri, has added Rod Schoenbine as the development director. He started Jan. 8 and is responsible for fundraising and relationship building to help achieve the organization’s mission of advancing education, youth and research for the Angus breed and American Angus Association members. Most recently, Schoenbine was the cattle genetics specialist for Zoetis Animal Health after serving as a territory manager for two different regions of the United States.

Lisa Norton has been promoted to president and chief operating officer at BioZyme Inc., St. Joseph, Missouri. Norton most recently served as vice president of marketing and sales. Norton has worked as a professor in accounting at Missouri Western State University for 14 years and started two companies in her career, Quantitative Resources, a software development/call center support and research firm and LAN Resources, a market research business.

Chuck Blasi has been selected as the next chief credit officer at Farm Credit of Southern Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colorado. In his duties, he will be a member of the executive leadership team and will provide subject matter expertise and oversight for all credit activities and actions. Blasi has about 30 years of service with Farm Credit of Southern Colorado.

Billi Hunt has been named the executive director of the Cultivation Corridor, Des Moines, Iowa. With 20 years of experience, Hunt had previously worked as the government affairs manager of the central region of DuPont. Cultivation Corridor focuses on developing and marketing the bioeconomy in central Iowa.

Cyndee Smiley, formerly division marketing manager for Region 4 combines and front-end equipment, has been named media relations and communications manager for John Deere Ag and Turf Division for the United States and Canada. Smiley replaces Beverly Flores who was named training and events manager for the U.S. and Canada for John Deere. Smiley had been responsible for go-to-market functions for Deere’s S700 series combines and front-end equipment.

The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, based in Washington, D.C., presented Martin H. Richenhagen, chairman and president of AGCO, with the 2017 Global Leadership Award. The award recognized Richenhagen’s positive influence on the German-American business partnership.

Westway Feed Products, Tomball, Texas, has named Rob Brock as president. He will replace Steve Boehmer who, since 2009, has grown the company to include 27 production plants in the United States and Canada. Boehmer will continue to serve the company in a consulting capacity. Brock joined Westway Feed Products in 2014.

Advanta Seeds, Irving, Texas, a global agriculture company specializing in seeds and agricultural solutions, has opened a new state-of-the-art biotechnology facility in College Station, Texas. The new biotechnology center is a result of a partnership with Texas A&M AgriLife Research, headquartered at Texas A&M University in College Station. The center will accelerate Advanta Seeds research and development capabilities for the company’s key crops: sorghum, corn, vegetables, sunflower, canola and rice.

PartnerRe Ltd., Pembroke, Bermuda, and Farmers Edge, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, have signed a 4-year agreement to jointly develop new agriculture insurance products in main crop growing areas worldwide, aimed at addressing the specific needs and challenges of farmers. The insurance product with integrated precision-farming capabilities will improve the efficiency and sustainability of their operations and will enable them to obtain insurance customized to their individual needs.

Holm Automotive Center Inc., Abilene, Kansas, has been awarded a 2018 DealerRater of the Year Award that recognizes automobile dealerships across the United States and Canada who deliver outstanding customer service, based on consumer reviews written on Reviewers evaluated Holm Automotive Center Inc. on its customer service, quality of work, friendliness, pricing and overall experience.

Harvest Returns, Fort Worth, Texas, an online platform for agriculture investing, has announced the formation of a business advisory board with the appointment of Deb Dunie, Mike Gumina, Adam Hartung, Stephen Joyce and David Stanton. The board’s role will be to provide counsel and strategic guidance as the company scales its equity crowd-funding platform. Dunie retired in 2015 as executive vice president and chief technology officer of CACI International. Gumina is CEO of RiceTec, a privately-owned company that develops and produces hybrid rice seed for American and international markets. Hartung has been CEO and managing partner of Spark Partners, a strategy and transformation consultancy since 2004. Retired Brig. Gen. Stephen Joyce formed Strategic Solutions in 2012 upon retiring after 33 years of service as an U.S. Army aviator. David Stanton serves as president of SUEZ in North America’s Utility Operations and Federal Services.