Each year, at ASTA’s annual convention, leaders in the seed industry who have contributed significantly to advances in their areas of expertise, to their business sectors and/or states or regions, and to the efforts of ASTA to serve their industry are recognized by their peers with the highest honors bestowed by the seed industry.
The ASTA Distinguished Service award was presented to Chet Boruff, AOSCA, and Dr. Barb Glenn, NASDA. The award recognizes those whose efforts have made a significant contribution to the association and the U.S. seed industry.
Chet Boruff began his career as Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) in October 2004. AOSCA represents seed certifying agencies across the U.S. and seven other countries that are responsible for applying uniform standards to maintain varietal purity for over 60 major agricultural crops. In his role as AOSCA’s first CEO, Chet has been responsible for serving as its spokesman, managing the Association, providing assistance to its members as they administer AOSCA seed certifying standards, and developing related services for the seed and ag industry. He has been an active liaison with other seed industry stakeholder groups.
Earlier in his career, Boruff served for seven years as Deputy Director at the Illinois Department of Agriculture. In that role, he was responsible for the Department’s natural resource and regulatory programs, including administering Illinois’ state seed law. He also worked for the Farm Credit System and organizations promoting value-added agricultural commodities.
Throughout his career, Chet has operated his family’s cash grain farm in Rock Island County, Illinois.
Boruff is an alumnus of Iowa State University and served on its College of Agriculture Endowment Board. He is also a graduate of the Illinois Ag Leadership Program and serves on its Board of Directors.
Chet and his wife, Joy, have two married children who live and work in Chicago.
Dr. Barbara Glenn joined the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) in CEO in 2014. NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories.
Dr. Glenn is a scientists with decades of experience as a researcher, policy leader and advocate for agriculture. She previously held leadership positions with CropLife America and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization in Washington, D.C. Earlier in her career she led governmental affairs for the Federation of Animal Science Societies. For 17 years, she conducted dairy cattle nutrition research for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. She was the first woman to serve as president of the American Society of Animal Science.
Dr. Glenn holds a B.S. in animal science and a Ph.D. in ruminant nutrition from the University of Kentucky. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska and raised in Centerville, Ohio. Dr. Glenn developed a passion for agriculture from her parents and her involvement in 4-H. The Glenn’s have three grown children who are 4-H alumni and live on a small farm in Maryland. Barb serves on various local boards for farm bureau, 4-H and ag education.
To see past recipients, click here.
The ASTA Honorary Lifetime Member award was presented to Tim Johnson, Illinois Foundation Seeds, Inc. and John Schoenecker, HM.CLAUSE. Honorary Members distinguish themselves through leadership, vision and service.
Tim Johnson serves as the President of Field Crops Business Unit and an officer at Illinois Foundation Seeds, Inc. (IFS). Before becoming president at IFSI, Tim served as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Seed Genetics, Inc. which was acquired by Illinois Foundation Seeds, Inc. 2003. From 1976-1993, he was employed at AgriPro. He held various positions there from hourly employee to Business Manager for corn and soybeans.
Tim’s involvement with ASTA first began by participating in the Corn, Sorghum and Soybean Conference Planning Committee. He went through the Chairs of the Corn and Sorghum Division which put him on the ASTA Board. He also participated on the Board of the U.S. Grains Council on behalf of ASTA and the Corn and Sorghum Division.
From 2005-2008, Tim was Central Region Vice President. At that time, Owen Newlin asked Tim to sit on the American Seed Research Foundation Board, which he did for 10 years.
Tim was nominated by ASTA to be their representative on the Breeders Committee of the International Seed Federation (ISF) and after 1 year became Chair of the Committee. He was Chair of ISF during the World Seed Congress in Greece and China. He also led the transition in management at ISF through that period. Tim represented the global seed industry and always recognized that he was doing so on behalf of the American Seed Trade Association.
Intellectual Property Rights is important to Tim for not only innovation, but also for enabling broad access by small and large companies. He has been involved in the Intellectual Property Rights arena and very proud that ASTA continues to represent the multiple ways to protect the patents, PVPs, and Contract Law. Tim has continued to promote that throughout the world.
Since 2006, Tim has been a part of the representation of ASTA to China and the continuing work by ASTA on improving China’s Intellectual Property Rights for seed. Tim’s involvement in ASTA’s activities in China also has played an important role in providing opportunity for access of U.S. seed companies into China as well as U.S. seed companies accessing opportunities from China. Tim currently sits on the International Executive Committee of ASTA and Chairs the China Working Group.
Another project that Tim currently volunteers for is the QualiBasic Seed based in Nairobi, Kenya on behalf of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation with grants funding through the Gates Foundation. This company is near and dear to Tim’s heart because it was based on a meeting that Andy and Tim had at the Gates Foundation regarding agricultural opportunities in Africa.
Time continues to have a great respect for all the American Seed Trade Association does on behalf of the diverse U.S. seed sector. He is always willing to give his support which in the past has included Tim and his wife Betty hosting seed delegations who have come through West Lafayette, IN.
Tim is married to his wife Betty and has two adult children, Kate (husband Andrew) and Blake (future wife Nina). Tim enjoys family, working and having FUN.
John Schoenecker, who has served for years as Director of Intellectual Property for HM.CLAUSE, is retiring this year after a long and distinguished career in the seed industry. Alongside his many years of service to HM.CLAUSE, formerly Harris Moran Seed Company, he has served in a variety of ASTA leadership positions, up to and including his year as ASTA Chair from 2014-2015.
Schoenecker’s involvement with ASTA First began in 2006 when he was working in legal and regulatory affairs for Harris Moran (before it merged with Clause in 2008 to become HM.CLAUSE). That year, alongside Tom Moore at HM.CLAUSE, who was chairing the Phytosanitary Committee, Schoenecker helped to conduct research during an e.Coli outbreak, which was causing seed sources to be blamed, which led to the release of an official ASTA statement regarding seed safety with regard to human pathogens. As result of this work, the ASTA Working Group on Emerging Issues was formed.
From that point on, Schoenecker became an incredibly active ASTA member serving in various capacities, including as Western Region VP, Chair of the Vegetable and Flower Seed Division, Chair of the ASTA Working Group on Patent Expiration (AgAccord) and serving on both the Intellectual Property Committee and the International Executive Committee. He also represented ASTA on the board of the International Seed Federation’s (ISF) Vegetable & Ornamental Section. In 2012, he was nominated to the position of 2nd Vice Chair where he helped to create the 2013-2018 ASTA Strategic Plan.
In 2014, Schoenecker took over as ASTA Chair. His work as Chair focused mainly on advocacy efforts, including continued work toward the ratification of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture by the U.S. Senate. The treaty aims to help facilitate food security and plant diversity through the global exchange of seeds and crop genetic resources. John’s Senate testimony led to the ratification of this important treaty, after many years of ASTA efforts to work toward this goal.
Throughout his tenure, and indeed since the beginning of his involvement with ASTA, Schoenecker has gone above and beyond in his efforts to promote and advocate for the seed industry, including numerous trips to China with ASTA trade advocacy groups. His work on the AgAccord, which provides a framework for handling the fair use and dissemination of GM technologies once they go off patent, has earned Schoenecker the respect and admiration of his peers across the industry as a whole.
Originally from Minnesota, John now resides in California, since the late 1980s when he earned his degree from the University of Minnesota in horticulture and soil science, with his partner, Kathy Willems.
Above all, alongside the Treaty ratification and the AgAccord, John says that among his greatest career highlights are the “super people” he has worked with along the way. And John, we’re so glad that after its year of international travel, your gavel has finally reached its rightful place with you.
To see past recipients, click here.