Soil Health Institute Announces New Chief Operating Officer

Farm Foundation, NFP's Sheldon R. Jones Begins June 1

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., May 10, 2016 /CNW/ -- The Soil Health Institute announced today it has hired Sheldon R. Jones as its Chief Operating Officer. Jones will work closely with Wayne Honeycutt, Ph.D., president and CEO, and Steven Shafer, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, in pursuing the Soil Health Institute's mission to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of the soil.

"Agriculture is who I am, what I do, and what I have a passion for," Jones said. "Being a part of the Soil Health Institute is an exciting next step for me and a great opportunity both personally and professionally. It's about coalescing around a common goal and reawakening the world to the importance of our soil."

Jones has spent his life and career in agriculture, understanding early the importance of working to advance farmers' efforts to help feed and clothe a growing population. He helped manage his family's 130,000-acre cow/calf ranch in Arizona, while securing his bachelor's and master's degrees in agribusiness from Arizona State University. He continued his mission for agriculture in his professional career, serving as a commercial/agricultural lender, director for the Arizona Department of Agriculture; executive vice president of the Agri-Business and Water Council of Arizona; and deputy commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Most recently, Jones was the vice president of Farm Foundation, NFP, and Farm Foundation Trust. There, he was responsible for all day-to-day aspects of the non-profit's $25 million business and financial operations. His business acumen, knowledge of agriculture and ability to rally people around a common goal were critical for the 83-year-old organization, which has developed trust with farmers, ranchers and industry experts and helped drive dialogue about the nation's agriculture and food systems.

"We are very fortunate to have Sheldon join the Soil Health Institute," said Honeycutt. "His relevant educational background coupled with his breadth of executive level experience with state agencies in Arizona and Colorado, and then nationally as vice president of the Farm Foundation, are all valuable qualifications, which will help ensure the Institute serves farmers, ranchers and our partners well."

About the Soil Health Institute
The Soil Health Institute's (www.soilhealthinstitute.org) mission is to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of the soil. An evolution of the Soil Renaissance, an initiative established in 2013 by the Noble Foundation and Farm Foundation to advance soil health and make it the cornerstone of land use management decisions, the Soil Health Institute serves as the primary resource for soil health information. It focuses on five pillars - working to set soil health standards and measurement, building knowledge about the economics of soil health, offering educational programs, assisting in policy development, and coordinating research in all aspects of soil and soil health. It works directly with conventional and organic farmers and ranchers, public- and private-sector researchers, academia, policymakers, government agencies, industry, environmental groups and consumers – everyone who benefits from healthy soils.

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SOURCE Soil Health Institute

For further information: Sue Dillon, Paradowski, sdillon@paradowski.com, 314.584.4715, http://www.soilhealthinstitute.org

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