WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA —Ag Growth International Inc. (AGI) announced on Oct. 29 the retirement of Gary Anderson as chief executive officer (CEO) of the company, and the appointment of Tim Close, president, to that position. Anderson will remain in his current role until Jan. 1, 2016 and will remain with the company until March 31, 2016 in an advisory role. The board also announced that Anderson has agreed to remain on the board of directors, and to stand for re-election at the upcoming annual meeting.
 
Anderson co-founded AGI in 1996 and has been CEO of the company since 2010. From its inception on the Alberta Stock Exchange to its present form as a TSX-listed company with an enterprise value approaching  C$1billion, Anderson has been a driving force behind the company’s strategic direction, the acquisition and integration of 15 business units, the development of AGI’s people and the company’s ongoing operational performance and improvement, AGI said.
 
Close joined AGI in 2012 as vice-president, strategic development, and was promoted to president in March 2015. Close has been integral to a number of key strategic initiatives including the company’s entry into Brazil and the acquisition of Westeel. Prior to joining AGI, Close was a senior vice-president at Macquarie Capital, a global investment bank, for nine years.
 
“Gary has led AGI through a period of exceptional growth in product catalog, international markets, and manufacturing capabilities,” said Bill Lambert, chair of the board of directors. “At the same time, he has maintained AGI's entrepreneurial culture and customer focus. Given Gary's extreme commitment to the business, particularly over the past five years, we respect his decision to spend more time with his family. The board is very pleased to have a successor in Tim Close who can consolidate these gains and continue AGI's growth.”
 
"We identified an opportunity in the marketplace nearly 20 years ago and did our best to go after it,” said Anderson. “I am so very fortunate to have had such great partners back in Swift Current and the exceptionally dedicated team we have built since then. We couldn't have done it without the steady hand of our directors and the appetite of our investors to accept the ups and downs of development in return for yield and long-term growth. Agriculture is a humbling game. It would be foolish of me to try to time my retirement on a market high. We have built a great business, one that is still full of opportunity for Tim and his team to pursue. I have the utmost confidence in them. It has been an honor and a privilege to have helped grow AGI, but it is time for me to step back and rekindle some other joys in life. Katie, I'm coming home."
 
“I am very excited to move into this role and look forward to continuing to execute on our core strategy of consolidation, diversification and growth within the agriculture sector,” said Close. “Twenty years after this strategy was launched in Swift Current, Saskatchewan we continue to have excellent options to grow and diversify both in North America and worldwide while also focusing on innovation and lean manufacturing to position our operations to deliver the best products to our customers, safe and efficient facilities for our employees and superior returns to our shareholders.  It takes a top quality team to execute on a complex strategy in a seasonal environment and we have an exceptional group of people from the champions of our business that operate on the shop floor everyday through to the team of road warriors out working with customers around the world as well as at our head office in Winnipeg working on our next growth initiative.  It is an honor to be part of this team and to have the commitment of our employees as well as the support and guidance of Gary and the board.”