Pete Irwin, regional business manager with BASF Corp., in Cary, N.C., has been named president of the Southern Crop Production Association for 2008-09. He succeeds Fred Worthington, Cardinal Chemical Co., who served two terms as president.

Irwin's election came during the SCPA's annual meeting in Charleston, S.C. In one of his first official acts, Irwin presented Worthington with the William C. Larue Award, SCPA's highest award for outstanding service to the association and the crop protection industry.

“Fred has been an outstanding advocate for the crop protection industry, having served on the SCPA board of directors for the past 12 years and as a member of the convention, finance, dues and membership committees,” said Ed Duskin, the SCPA's executive vice president from Dawson, Ga.

Also serving with Irwin, Worthington and Duskin on the SCPA executive committee in 2008-09 will be Joe Will, Southern States Cooperative, Richmond, Va., as vice president, and Jeff Cassady, Bayer CropScience, Reidsville, N.C., as secretary-treasurer. Worthington, Kinston, N.C., will serve as president ex-officio.

“SCPA is the only one of the three major regional crop protection associations which deals with Washington issues in addition to monitoring and being involved in state legislative and regulatory affairs,” Worthington said in his president's report. “We work in close cooperation with our industry's national associations and provide grassroots and direct support to influence the federal issues which affect our industry.”

Each spring, SCPA board members, other SCPA member company personnel, the board of the Southern Seed Association and others visit more than 70 congressmen and senators from the 15 Southern states to discuss a wide-ranging number of issues.

“Not only were we able to present our issues to our elected representatives, we were able to do some valuable networking within our own industry,” Worthington said. “Through these Hill visits we were able to strengthen our influence on federal legislation.”

Through its state affairs committee, SCPA also continues to monitor the state laws and regulations that affect all of the chemical manufacturing companies and distributors, he noted.

“The coalitions they have formed with grower groups, agribusiness associations, Extension service personnel, state farm bureaus, fertilizer and commodity organizations will continue to be extremely advantageous for us in the future.”