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Verdant Partners LLC in Champaign, IL, announced that Paul G. Bennett has joined Verdant as a director.

Mr. Bennett has spent most of his career in senior management positions in the global fresh produce industry. His primary focus at Verdant Partners will be the development of new business in the fresh produce industry.

Mr. Bennett recently retired from Sakata Seed America in Morgan Hill, CA, where he served as chief executive officer from 1997 through 2009. Mr. Bennett also served on the Global Management Committee of the parent company in Japan. Prior to joining Sakata Seed America, Mr. Bennett served as the vice president of technical services for Monterey Mushrooms in Watsonville, CA. Previous to that appointment, he served in leadership positions at agricultural companies including Naturipe Berry Growers, California Ammonia Co., Hawaiian Holiday Macadamia Nut Co., Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp. and various Dole Food Co. overseas subsidiaries.

Mr. Bennett is a longtime resident of Lafayette, CA, and also resided in Hawaii for many years. Fluent in English and Spanish, he earned his bachelor of arts degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, and his MBA from Stanford University in California. He served four years in the U.S. Navy and is a Vietnam War veteran. Mr. Bennett is a former chairman of the American Seed Trade Association.

Dean V. Cavey, managing partner of Verdant Partners LLC, said in a recent press release, "We are fortunate to have Paul join Verdant Partners and look forward to utilizing his vast experience in further growing our agribusiness practice in the U.S. and abroad. Paul's experience and skills will be quite valuable in a number of industry segments."