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Blome Named EVP, COO of Valent U.S.A.

Jim Blome has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of Valent U.S.A. Corporation.

For nearly 25 years, Blome has worked in various sales, marketing, business and product development roles in the global agricultural and crop protection industries. He has held a range of management and leadership roles a companies such as Agriliance LLC, FMC Corporation, Agtrol Chemical Products, Griffin Corporation and Nufarm Limited. Prior to joining Valent, he oversaw crop protection, fertilizer and agricultural retail projects for AgriCapital Corporation, where he managed mergers, acquisitions and capitalization for leading agricultural and biotechnology companies.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Iowa State University. He has also completed additional business and marketing programs at the University of Northern Iowa, the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago.

FMC Professional Solutions Promotes Ekins

FMC Professional Solutions has promoted Rick Ekins to marketing manager for its professional solutions market segments, including golf, lawn care, pest control and ornamental.

Ekin has a wide range of experience in the crop and noncrop business segments. Starting his career as a sales representative in the agricultural market in the Midwest, he successfully transitioned into marketing and business development roles. He joined FMC in 2000 as a field sales representative and moved to the marketing group as a product manager in 2003, first overseeing pest control and, most recently, turf and ornamental products.

Syngenta Selects Grower of Tomorrow Winner

Syngenta Professional Products has announced that North Carolina State University senior Matthew Swaim was the first-place winner of the 2009 Syngenta Grower of Tomorrow internship program. The announcement was made at the 20th annual Turf and Ornamentals Communicators Association (TOCA) conference in May.

As part of his internship, Swaim attended the TOCA conference and the OFA Short Course in July in Columbus, Ohio, to meet and interact with industry professionals. He will also spend one-on-one time this year with four Syngenta businesses—Conrad Fafard, Inc., Syngenta Flowers, Inc., Syngenta Horticultural Services and Syngenta Professional Products—to obtain first-hand knowledge of growers’ needs, legal issues, genetics and communications efforts in the ornamentals industry. He also received a $2,500 scholarship to further his educational goals.

Runners-up in the program are Holly Williams from Cornell University and Tiffany Kohl from the University of Wisconsin, who each received a $1,000 scholarship to further their education goals.