CARY, N.C. (September 29, 2015)
As farmers seek advanced, innovative ways to keep their operations profitable and efficient, companies must rise to the challenge to provide solutions in the ever-evolving agricultural landscape. Continuing its endeavors to proactively strengthen profit-driven technologies and products, Verdesian Life Sciences expands its team to include Jake Underwood as executive vice president of nutritionals and John “Sam” Wilson, Ph.D. as vice president of technology development.
“Global agriculture provides a unique challenge because there are so many variables,” said J.J. Grow, chief executive officer at Verdesian Life Sciences. “Jake’s and Sam’s perspectives on products and technologies in the industry will add a lot of value to our team as we look to make the Verdesian portfolio to be all-inclusive for farmers seeking healthier, more robust crops and a greater return on investment.”
Underwood’s talents excel in company development and industry thought leadership, with more than 16 years of experience in delivering results in sales, marketing and management. In his new role, Underwood will provide strategic direction for the Verdesian nutritionals and micronutrients business. He will lead the nutritional management and sales team and report directly to chief operating officer Greg Thompson.
Underwood began his experience in agriculture with five years at J.R. Simplot Company. He then spent the greater part of his career working with Agrium, United Agri Products and Loveland Products, Inc. Prior to joining the Verdesian team, he was Crop Production Services’ general manager of ag retail for Indiana. Underwood is an alumnus of Oregon State University, where he achieved a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business.
“Verdesian is committed to achieving top results for growers,” said Greg Thompson, chief operating officer at Verdesian. “Jake’s previous success with distributors and retailers, paired with a broad understanding and background in agriculture, will be key to moving our customer-centric approach forward.”
Wilson brings more than 30 years of experience to lead the development of new technologies in all product categories. Prior to this position, he served as the global field development manager for FMC, where he managed new product development and led research for more than 250 trials around the world. Wilson also held product development and technical service positions with United Agri Products, Zeneca AG Products and Monsanto. Throughout his career, he has played a key role in bringing 52 new products to market and will work directly in collaboration with J.J. Grow to expand the Verdesian product portfolio. Wilson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees of science from North Carolina State University and received his doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
“Our goal is to bring several new technologies to the market every year to meet farmers’ needs for economic and environmental sustainability,” Grow said. “Sam’s expertise in plant biology and physiology is key because we see the focus on plant health, biologicals and nutrition growing exponentially in the coming years.”
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