AGCO names director of global sustainability


DULUTH, Ga. — AGCO, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of agricultural machinery and solutions with facilities in Hesston, recently announced Louisa Parker-Smith as its director of global sustainability, a newly created position that will oversee the company’s sustainability and environmental initiatives.


Parker-Smith, who joined AGCO in 2012 as manager of institutional funding and stakeholder relations, moves to her new role after serving as the global human resources business partner for several of AGCO’s business operations.


She has also served as a manager of marketing, public relations and communications in the Africa and Middle East region; director of distribution development in Africa; and as a special assistant to the company’s CEO, Martin Richenhagen. Parker-Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in politics and international studies from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.


"Louisa brings a broad cross-section of experiences that will allow deeper insight into how we can continue to make sustainability one of the core components of our business and strategic direction," said Eric Hansotia, AGCO’s current chief operating officer and upcoming chairman and CEO. "While we have made progress on a wide range of sustainability initiatives, we are aware everyone must do more if we are to avoid the negative impacts of climate change, particularly on the global food supply."


With Parker-Smith’s new appointment, AGCO is underscoring its commitment to making sustainability a business priority while providing farmers the tools they need to meet the challenge of feeding a growing population using fewer natural resources. The company plans to release its next sustainability report in 2021 and enhance its current practice of providing transparency on its material issues.


"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help bring a sharper focus on the many sustainability projects across the company and develop new programs that will have significant benefits for our customers and society," said Parker-Smith. "We recognize the agriculture industry is a key part of the solution to combatting climate change, and we are committed to bringing smart solutions to our farmer customers to increase sustainable agricultural practices across the globe."


AGCO has undertaken a range of sustainability efforts to reduce energy use and carbon emissions at its facilities as well as conserving water use and minimizing waste. The company’s Valtra plant in Finland was the first major tractor factory in the world to begin using Neste MY Renewable Diesel as the start-up fuel for all new tractors, saving nearly 2 million kilograms of CO2 emissions, which equals the annual output of approximately 630 diesel cars. For more information on AGCO’s sustainability efforts, visit www.agcocorp.com/commitment/sustainability.html.


Governor announces 250 jobs


TOPEKA – Gov. Laura Kelly Thursday recently announced the groundbreaking for a new Empirical Foods ground beef facility in Garden City.


The planned facility, which is now the largest single investment in the company’s 40-year history, will bring 250 new jobs and more than $250 million in capital investment to Garden City and Finney County.


"Empirical Foods made a smart decision in choosing to do business in a community with so much to offer in excellent schools, infrastructure, and quality-of-life amenities for employees and their families," Kelly said. "Projects like this will continue to strengthen our state’s foundation and help us attract more companies, like Empirical, to do business in Kansas."


Secretary of Commerce David Toland joined company officials at the Garden City site for a groundbreaking on Thursday morning.


"This major investment is another huge win in our state’s effort to secure our food systems, now and into the future," Toland said. "Empirical Foods is a terrific company with high standards of excellence. This is an exciting day for this company, for Garden City and for our state."


Empirical Foods’ decision to expand comes as the result of increased demand for lean ground beef, requiring a significant boost in processing and manufacturing. When the location is fully operational, the Garden City facility will more than double Empirical’s ground beef production.


"The Kansas agriculture strategic growth project has identified expansion of value-added beef processing in Kansas as a desired outcome," Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam said. "The investment of this facility helps to further solidify Kansas’ role and reputation as a recognized leader in the beef industry."


"After a long evaluation period to identify the perfect location for our new facility, we were pleased to settle on Garden City and could not have identified a better, more welcoming community," said Nick Roth, president of Empirical Technology Inc. "The state of Kansas, Garden City and the Finney County Economic Development Corporation have been excellent partners to the beef industry and companies like ours."


Construction on the plant is expected to be finished between 2022 and 2023.