CropLife America Recognizes Award Winners at 2020 Annual Meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 2020 election, challenges at the state and local levels, and need to defend our U.S. risk-based regulatory system were at the top of the agenda during the CropLife America (CLA) virtual Annual Meeting currently being held until October 1. CLA’s Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for members to review 2020 initiatives, discuss future strategy, and reflect on the opportunities ahead for agricultural innovations.
A highlight of the Annual Meeting is the recognition of members who have shown exemplary drive and leadership. Whether on a specific issue or managing the work of an entire committee, CLA is thankful for members’ time and hard work throughout this past year. Members and partners recognized by CLA this year include:

The Pillar Award recognizes an individual or group who has shown dedicated service to the pesticide industry and CLA by working diligently on current and emerging issues. Pillar Award winners for 2020 are:  Lee Hall (Bayer Crop Science); Dr. Spencer Mortensen (BASF Corporation); and Mike Seyfert (FMC Corporation).

The Jay Vroom Agriculture Ambassador Award recognizes members of the media or allied organizations who have contributed to the education of the public regarding agriculture and pesticides. This year’s honorees are Jeff and Kash Cassady (Southern Crop Production Association).

The Chairman’s Award honors individuals within the CLA staff for their exceptional service to member companies, the industry and the organization. This year’s winners are  Jessica Lamb (director of accounting) and Mitzi Miller (office administrator).

The Urbanowski Grassroots Award honors the outstanding grassroots contributions made by an individual or organization at the local, state or federal level.  CLA was thrilled to recognize Kevin “KJ” Johnson (Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association).

CLA presented the Rising Star Award to recognize emerging leaders in the agricultural industry whose record reflects exceptional growth in leadership and responsibility. Congratulations to Luke Tomanelli (Bayer Crop Science) and Kyle Kunkler (American Soybean Association) on this well-deserved honor!

The Lea S. Hitchner Award honors one individual whose outstanding contributions to the industry and association activities epitomize the essence of the first CLA President, Lea S. Hitchner. This year, the award was presented to Bruce Houtman (Corteva Agriscience).

CLA also presented one of its highest honors, the Lifetime Achievement Award. CLA recognized the lifetime contributions of two individuals this year: Jim Gray (in memoriam, Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data) and Jeff Case (CLA).

“As a member-driven organization, we are grateful for the leadership and engagement of these dedicated individuals who are truly working on behalf of American Agriculture,” said Chris Novak, CLA President & CEO.  “It is an honor to recognize the work they do to enhance the safety and sustainability of our nation’s food supply.”

Established in 1933, CropLife America ( represents the developers, manufacturers, formulators and distributors of plant science solutions for agriculture and pest management in the United States. CropLife America’s member companies produce, sell and distribute virtually all of the necessary and vital crop protection and biotechnology products used by American farmers. CLA can be found on Twitter at @CropLifeAmerica.

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.