Thornton Named Agribusiness Leader of the Year

Written by NAMA on Thursday, March 16, 2006 , 2:20 pm

NAMA has named George Thornton, President & CEO of Agriliance LLC, the 2006 Agribusiness Leader of the Year. This award, which is NAMA’s highest honor, will be presented at the Opening General Session of the 2006 Agri-Marketing Conference & Trade Show, “Jazzed!,” April 20, 2006 in Kansas City. The award honors outstanding leaders in agribusiness, education, government service or other agribusiness related areas who exemplify excellence in agribusiness by their significant contributions to the industry.

Thornton joined Agriliance in 2001 and spent his first 12 months traveling throughout the country, listening to dealers and growers share ideas on products and services they most value in a supplier. With a clear understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the company, Thornton has set clear goals for the organization, motivated his teams and given them the resources needed to achieve a dramatic turnaround in every facet of the company’s business.

Under his leadership, Agriliance developed global crop nutrients supply connections, added a deep-water port at Galveston, Texas, introduced crop nutrients supply and price risk management tools, grew the company’s Agronomy Production Specialist program, and increased sales of its proprietary brand of AgriSolutions™ crop protection products by 16 percent last year. Strong customer acceptance and solid business performance helped Agriliance close fiscal 2005 with a record $77.1 million in pre-tax earnings, on sales of $3.7 billion dollars.

Thornton is also committed to helping dealers strengthen their buying power and improve their local business bottom line through the formation of strategic alliances such as joint ventures or other partnerships. Overall, emphasis on strategic alliances has sparked development of 15 joint ventures, strategic partnerships, crop nutrients hub plants and other innovative business relationships designed to reduce costs and improve distribution efficiencies.

Thornton is past president of Chemical Producers and Distributors Association (CPDA), a trade organization that advocates the interests of the generic crop production industry. As CEO of North America’s largest full line agronomic supply company, he fully supports involvement in industry groups by Agriliance team members. Members of the Agriliance team hold leadership positions in many organizations, including RAPID, CropLife magazine’s PACE dealer advisory panel, The Fertilizer Institute, the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) and multiple state industry associations.

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