EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Agribusiness leader, George C. Thornton, was named chief executive officer for the National Wild Turkey Federation June 2, 2008 and will begin his duties immediately.

Thornton is well known throughout the agribusiness community most recently as president and chief executive officer of Agriliance, LLC, a leading agricultural input distributor in North America providing retailers and producers with crop nutrients, crop protection products, seed and equipment. Thornton, who retired from Agriliance in August 2007, also served in various sales, financial and management positions with American Cyanamid, ICI Americas, ICI Australia PLC, Griffin/Dupont, LLC and AgWeb.com. He is a past director of the Minnesota Zoo, and has served on many civic, industry and company boards including chair of the Chemical Producers and Distributors Association, Crop Life America, The Fertilizer Institute, local Boy Scout councils and church groups. In 2006, George was named Agribusiness leader of the year by the National Agricultural Marketing Association.

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George Thornton named NWTF CEO by board of directors

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The NWTF’s Board of Directors welcomes new NWTF CEO George Thornton to the Wild Turkey Center (pictured left to right) NWTF Chairman Jere Peak, George & Beth Thornton, NWTF President Peggy Anne Vallery

“We are thrilled to have George leading this organization,” said Jere Peak, NWTF chairman of the board. “His background heading up Agriliance, which became the largest Agricultural products distributor in North America under his leadership, and his commitment to the same conservation principles and hunting heritage values that the NWTF family holds dear, makes him a perfect fit to take us to the next level.”

A lifelong hunter with a passion for restoring and maintaining wildlife habitat, Thornton is looking forward to leading one of the nation’s largest single species conservation organizations to even greater success.

“As a conservationist and hunter, the NWTF’s mission really resonates with me, and I’m committed to working with this team of staff, volunteers and partners to fulfill the organization’s goals,” said Thornton. “The track record of the NWTF is very impressive. We can build from this foundation of success to find new and exciting ways to enrich the experience of our membership.”

The NWTF is a private, nonprofit conservation and education organization founded in 1973 with a mission dedicated to conserving wild turkeys and preserving hunting traditions.

The NWTF, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, has more than 500,000 members and volunteers in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico and 14 other foreign countries. Along with its wildlife agency and corporate partners, NWTF’s staff and volunteers have helped restore and manage North America’s current population of more than 7 million wild turkeys. In addition, the NWTF has helped acquire or improve habitat on more than 13 million acres of public, private and corporate lands.

Through its outreach programs, the NWTF family has helped thousands of children, women, and people with disabilities across North America learn new outdoor skills. The NWTF’s JAKES, Women in the Outdoors and Wheelin’ Sportsmen programs have helped people learn to better enjoy the outdoors as well as understand the importance of wildlife management and appreciate hunting as an honorable pursuit.

Thornton brings 36 years of agribusiness experience in a variety of positions and organizations. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. A Georgia native, he has lived in five states, four countries in addition to visiting more than 50 other countries. He currently resides with his wife, Beth at Creekside Farm, Elberton, Ga. with plans to relocate to Edgefield, S.C.