Pork Industry Leaders in the News: Alltech, Smithfield Foods

( Alison Fulton, Farm Journal )

Alltech Welcomes New Senior Leaders 
In the first half of 2019, Alltech has welcomed several new senior leaders. The four executives come from varied backgrounds but have extensive experience working within the international agriculture industry. 

Brian McCawley is the senior vice president of sales at Alltech, with a focus on the company’s North America additive business. Prior to joining Alltech, McCawley spent 15 years growing Big Dutchman’s business in the Asia-Pacific region, with posts in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, according to a company release. As vice president of sales for the region, he led Big Dutchman’s Asia-Pacific team through a period of tremendous growth. Then, while president of Big Dutchman’s operations in China, he built the country’s largest egg farm with 3 million layers and 1 million pullets on a single site. 

After six years in China, he returned to the U.S. in 2016 to begin a new business unit for Big Dutchman that would deliver on customers’ requests for complete layer, broiler and pig housing systems. After establishing the new business division, McCawley served as its president and quickly expanded operations globally to four continents. Prior to joining Big Dutchman in 2002, McCawley was international sales manager for Hired-Hand Manufacturing and American Coolair Corporation. He received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural operations from the University of Florida in 1992. He and his wife have been married for 25 years and have three daughters.

Mike Osborne, the founder and former president of Nutra Blend, has joined Alltech as key account advisor for North America. Based in Neosho, Mo., he will be dedicated to furthering the growth of Alltech’s additive sales in North America. Shortly after graduating from Missouri Southern State University, Osborne founded Nutra Blend, growing it into a $1 billion premix business across the U.S. During his leadership, Nutra Blend embarked on a national “Chew on This” tour. On stops throughout the nation with a tractor-trailer theater, they used a film featuring Bill Goldberg to highlight the tremendous work being done to produce food in U.S. while calling for awareness and action to address child hunger. Nutra Blend launched an incentive program whereby product purchases would earn dollars for local communities to provide backpacks of food for U.S. schoolchildren who otherwise would have nothing to eat over the weekends. To date, Nutra Blend has provided more than 25 million meals for kids through this program. 

Osborne was a member of the American Feed Industry Association’s board of directors for nine years and currently serves on the board for Stratum Nutrition, a nutraceutical business based on egg components. He grew up in his family’s egg business, which became the second-largest egg company in the U.S. He and his wife, Terry, have been married for 42 years and have three children and four grandchildren.

Christopher Speight is Alltech’s chief financial officer of the Americas. He heads the company’s global corporate finance, treasury management and M&A functions. Speight began working with Alltech on its M&A strategy in 2010 while at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and formally advised on Alltech’s acquisition of Ridley in 2015. He served as an exclusive advisor to Alltech in 2018 and joined the company full time at its corporate headquarters in Kentucky in 2019. Most recently, Speight led Deutsche Bank's global agribusiness investment banking coverage effort, which spanned the food value chain, from origination to processing and packaged food and beverage. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in 2014, Speight spent 10 years at Merrill Lynch and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the consumer group. 

Throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to advise on most of the major agribusiness M&A and capital-raising transactions. In addition to his primary work in agribusiness, he has advised on numerous transactions in the broader food and beverage and consumer space. Born and raised in Iowa, Speight received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Iowa. He currently lives in Kentucky with his wife and son.

Jonathan Forrest Wilson is Alltech’s president of Greater China, a role most recently held by Dr. Mark Lyons, now president and CEO of Alltech. China is a central player in the global animal feed industry, having topped the charts each year as the world’s largest feed producer, according to the annual Alltech Global Feed Survey. With more than 23 years of experience living and working throughout the Asia-Pacific and Oceania region, Wilson has led businesses with operations on every continent, developing and executing growth-focused transformation strategies, including cross-border mergers and acquisitions, sales, product development, capital projects and technology initiatives in both emerging and developed markets.

Prior to joining Alltech, Wilson was chief operating officer and an executive director of GODACO Seafood in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He was also senior advisor to Navis Capital Partners Private Equity in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Previously, he was group CEO and a board member of Hong Leong Industries, a Malaysia-based, publicly traded industrial conglomerate with $1.4 billion in sales. Wilson joined Gold Coin Group in 2009 as chief operating officer and a member of the board, later rising to acting CEO. Before working at Gold Coin, he held top management positions as vice president and managing director of Asia at Imerys and managing director of Asia at Great Lakes Chemical Corporation. He joined Unilever’s National Starch and Chemical Company in 1987 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on finance from Rutgers University.

Wilson is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) China. He has been married for nearly 30 years and has two daughters, both of whom are studying agriculture and natural resources.

Westerbeek Receives Honors for Environmental Efforts 

Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce that the Environment and Energy Leaders Institute recognized Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables and hog production environmental affairs, as an Environment + Energy 100 honoree, a program that honors individuals for their leadership of environmental, energy and sustainability initiatives at their companies.

Westerbeek leads Smithfield Renewables, the company’s platform to unify and accelerate its carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts to help meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal. In this role, he is responsible for developing companywide strategies and initiatives for renewable energy production and energy efficiency efforts at Smithfield’s farms and facilities across the U.S., according to a company release.
As part of his efforts for Smithfield, Westerbeek played an instrumental role in helping the company engage 80% of its grain supply chain in efficient fertilizer and soil health practices, exceeding the original goal. This program zeros-in on Smithfield’s grain supply, the first step in the company’s vertically integrated supply chain. In addition to reducing Smithfield’s GHG emissions, it helps farmers improve their yields, optimize fertilizer usage and reduce runoff.

Recently, Westerbeek led the nationwide expansion of Smithfield’s “manure-to-energy” projects to further reduce the company’s GHG emissions and produce clean, renewable energy. As a result of this expansion, Smithfield will implement projects across nearly all of its hog finishing spaces in Missouri and 90% of its hog finishing spaces in North Carolina, Utah and Virginia. Several of these projects are part of a joint venture with Dominion Energy called Align Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)SM. In Missouri, Westerbeek also oversees the reestablishment of native grasslands, prairie, and milkweed to create habitat for monarch butterflies and provide biomass for methane generation in renewable natural gas projects, which is a project in partnership with Roeslein Alternative Energy.  

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