Seed World

Wrapping Up the IPSA Annual Conference

This week (Jan. 14-15), the Independent Professional Seed Association (IPSA) hosted hundreds of independent seed companies in Kansas City, MO. Held at the old Muehlebach Hotel, formerly the home of the National FFA Convention until 1999, IPSA celebrated their 31st Annual Meeting, which was filled with hope moving forward in 2020.  

The meeting started off with a bang, with Jeff Meints, outgoing president of IPSA and president of Titan Pro, announcing that Todd Martin would remain as CEO of IPSA.

Jeff Meints.

“We are very thrilled to announce that Todd will be staying on as our CEO, and we look forward to having him on our organization,” says Jeff Meints, IPSA president and president of Titan Pro.

“We know that prevent planting and the weather was disastrous for us in 2019, and yet, even in the midst of all that trouble, I know that many of you grew your businesses last year,” Martin says. “That’s where we find our encouragement and understand the strength of the independents. I’m honored to continue as CEO, and I very much appreciate all of the support you all have given me.”

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Continuing the first general session, Meints and Martin announced the 2020 recipients of the IPSA Lifetime Achievement Awards.

At the 2018 IPSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IPSA reestablished the IPSA Lifetime Achievement Awards to honor independent seedsmen that have given a lifetime to working in the seed industry. This year, IPSA honored two members for their achievements: Rich Hall of Greenleaf Genetics and Bob Foley of RFS Global, both who are retiring in 2020.

“I am very humbled and very thankful,” Hall says. “I’m very thankful to my colleagues at Greenleaf, that for the last 15 years, have been great supporters of myself and of the seed industry.”

Todd Martin.

“I think it’s really interesting that I get to share this award with Rich,” Foley says. “We formed a breeding group a long way back … and we traveled a lot and learned a lot about each other, about corn, about the seed industry and about the States. I think the best part of today is getting to share it with him. I’m really honored.”

Scholarship Luncheon

The conference continued at the Annual Scholarship Luncheon. For the past two years, IPSA has been proud to be able to give out not the previous standard of three scholarships, but instead 10 total scholarships, including the Tom Burrus Memorial Scholarship, which is given in memory of the past IPSA president, Tom Burrus of Burrus Seed. There were a total of 292 applicants.

Karson Kimpling of University of Illinois was awarded the Tom Burrus Memorial Scholarship. IPSA gave nine other scholarships out at the luncheon to: Miriam Hoffman, MacKenzie Trader, McKenzie Carvalho, Katie Gardner, Makenna Green, Jack Howard, Anna Mathis, Natalie Vujanov and Sierra Williamson.

Passing of the Gavel

On Wednesday, Jan. 15, the IPSA Conference concluded with the annual passing of the gavel. Meints, as the outgoing IPSA president, presented the gavel to the incoming president, Brett Hodnefield of Champion Seed. Hodnefield will work as president of IPSA until the 32nd Annual Conference in Tuscan, Ari. Dan Hogstad will take over as 1st vice president of IPSA.