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Gallagher Named President of Heartland Plant Innovations
Nebraska Ag Connection - 02/09/2018

A veteran of the agricultural industry has been named the president and chief executive officer of Heartland Plant Innovations, Inc. (HPI) in Manhattan, Kan.

Dusti Gallagher, who has owned and operated Fritz Consulting, an agricultural marketing consulting company, since 2010, began the position this week. As the founder of Fritz Consulting, Gallagher provided leadership and management services to agricultural companies including organization leadership and management, employee recruitment, staff and board development, strategic and financial planning, and goal initiation and execution. She previously served as the strategic lead for Sorghum and co-director for Developing Sorghum Doubled Haploid Technology with HPI.

"I am honored and excited to serve agriculture in this new role at HPI, a premier plant biotechnology company," said Gallagher. "We have the staff, expertise and capacity to develop cutting-edge technologies for tomorrow's agriculture. I look forward to advancing HPI's core businesses and the opportunity to bring new, innovative solutions for the crop improvement, agriculture and food industries."

Heartland Plant Innovations is a for-profit company which aims to be a world-class provider of genetic technology that solves problems for the crop improvement, agriculture and food industries. HPI is a modern plant science company founded in 2009 by a group of public and private-sector partners including agricultural producers, public institutions, and prominent companies in the plant genetics and food science sectors. Located in the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, HPI has access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

"The HPI Board of Directors and stakeholders look forward to having Dusti as the next president and CEO," said Justin Gilpin, chairman of the board. "She will be able to provide hands-on scientific and business leadership to strengthen and expand HPI's business services and provide direction to HPI's research program to ensure timely attainment of goals for priority research projects."

HPI has laid the foundation for two core businesses: 1) Advanced Plant Breeding Services, currently serving customers in North America, Europe and South America, and 2) Sponsored Research, which aims to deliver novel genetic traits for commercialization by breeders in the private and public sectors. HPI applies advanced technologies for gene discovery, trait validation and crop improvement to deliver new products and production platforms that target high-value market opportunities. HPI works in a highly collaborative fashion with partners in industry and academia, focusing on food and crop genetics.

Reporting to the HPI Board of Directors, Gallagher will be responsible for managing all research, operational, commercial, administrative and financial operations for the company.

Prior to founding Fritz Consulting, Gallagher was the chief executive officer of Kansas Wheat, a producer led organization. She led the restructuring of Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and also managed policy and leadership development programs, conducted research and marketing activities, and managed a staff of six employees. In this capacity, she participated in several national industry committees. Gallagher has also served three years as Western States Regional Director of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, developing and carrying out producer outreach and marketing programs across a five-state region.

Gallagher began her agricultural career as the wheat analyst for the Foreign Agricultural Service, United States Department of Agriculture. She was responsible for global wheat situation and prepared the wheat outlook for FAS's monthly publication covering global trade in grain.

Gallagher, a native of Oklahoma, received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University. She currently resides in Wamego, Kan., with her husband, Paul, and two children, Maya and Nathanael.

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