Are You Investing in Young Leaders?

by | Jun 17, 2022 | Business, Seed Speaks

There’s always time for you to invest in leadership — no matter the age. But, as the seed industry continues to grow and mature, that means leadership is in flux. Today’s leaders won’t always be here tomorrow, which means new leadership is bound to take over running our businesses, associations and eventually, the industry as a whole.

Have you been investing time in your young people?

When it’s time for the next generation to take over leadership, it’s important for them to be prepared for anything that can happen. That means, it’s time to take the time and start investing in their skills and career now.

On June 22 at 12 p.m. CDT, Seed Speaks is addressing why it’s important for businesses and associations to start putting work into young leaders today. Three panelists are joining us from the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA):

Brad May, vice president of Global Strategic Marketing Seed Treatments at BASF and current chair of ASTA. May grew up in central Illinois and received his degree in Agribusiness from Illinois State University and joined Bayer CropScience two years later. He has held many roles in sales and marketing in his 34 years with Bayer, including a global assignment in Germany. His work has included launching Imidacloprid in the U.S as the insecticide product manager, the Global Insecticide Business Strategy Manager for the Neonicotinoids Group, and was the liaison for the Gustafson joint venture between Bayer CropScience and Crompton Chemical. He transitioned to a new role with BASF in 2018 when the company acquired Bayer’s seed business. His current responsibilities also include seed and trait account management teams. May is based at BASF’s North Carolina facility in Research Triangle Park. He is married and has three grown children and enjoys running, golf and spending time with his two granddaughters.

Jim Schweigert, president of Gro Alliance and upcoming chair of ASTA. A third-generation seedsman, Schweigert grew up in the family seed business and was exposed to industry issues at an early age. He earned a bachelor of arts in public relations from the University of Minnesota and worked for corporate public relations firms in Minneapolis, Chicago and Atlanta before joining the family business full time in 2003. He has since been active in ASTA, the Independent Professional Seed Association and earned his master’s in seed technology and business from Iowa State University.

Jake Ware, business manager for HM.Clause and chair of ASTA’s LEAD committee. Based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Ware currently manages a sales and product development team for Hm.Clause’s processing business in the U.S. and Canada. Ware has been working in agriculture for 10 years and grew up with both sides of his family in active farming — with one set of grandparents focusing on strawberries and cucumbers and the other focusing on apples and cherry orchards. He previously was a product manager selling hot pepper, tomatillo and open field bell pepper with HM.Clause, and he has a degree in economics with a cognate in business from Michigan State University. Not only that, but Ware believes is continuously improving himself — he has multiple accreditations from Cornell and UC Davis, including one on leadership and Seed Business 101.

Join us on June 22 at 12 p.m. CDT on Seed World’s Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn pages to watch the discussion.

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