John R. Butler will take the reins of Memphis, Tenn.-based Agricenter International effective July 1, 2016. Butler, a fifth generation farmer, has been owner/operator of Jones Creek Farms for the last 20 years.
He will succeed John Charles Wilson as president. Wilson is a member of a farming family from Arlington, Tenn., who has led the agricultural research and demonstration complex located in an increasingly urban area of east Memphis for nearly 20 years.
Butler’s Jones Creek Farms is a diversified row crop and cattle operation located near Dyersburg in west Tennessee that has grown to several thousand acres, consisting of cotton, soybeans, feed grains, and a commercial cow/calf herd.
Butler graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in animal science. He worked for Cargill, Inc. for a number of years. In his various management roles at Cargill, John had permanent assignments all over the United States dealing with grain origination, processing, transportation, distribution, and customer service.
Butler is passionate about the importance of U.S. agriculture and its role in providing the world with nutritious and economical products. He has spent countless hours traveling all over the U.S. and the world telling the story of American agriculture.
He has served on several commodity associations and has been active in numerous professional organizations such as the American and Tennessee Farm Bureaus, the United Soybean Board, the Tennessee Beef Industry Council, the Tennessee Soybean Association, and the Center for Food Integrity.
“I am humbled to have been chosen to lead Agricenter International,” said Butler. “Its future has never been brighter, and I am committed to growing and advancing Agricenter’s brand and mission within Shelby County, the region, our great nation, and the world.
“U.S. agriculture is the backbone of our nation’s economy, with an economic impact in excess of $830 billion. I intend to spend my time and energy growing and advancing this industry and Agricenter International.”
When asked about his proudest accomplishment, Butler said without hesitation, “That’s easy. It’s raising my three children on our family’s farm and passing down to them a love for the land and the animals in our care.”
“I’m pleased Agricenter International will be led by John Butler and know the organization will benefit from his farming and leadership skills,” said Wilson. “His knowledge of the industry is second to none.”
Steve Shields, chairman of the Agricenter International board of directors, added: “The Board looked at candidates from all over the country and liked what they saw in John Butler’s credentials. We look forward to working with him here at Agricenter.”
Agricenter International is a non-profit dedicated to agricultural research and education. For more information visit www.agricenter.org.