AgriNovus Indiana has announced a senior leader with Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health (NYSE: ELAN) will serve as acting chief executive officer after current AgriNovus President and CEO Beth Bechdol steps down from her post.

Aaron Schacht is executive vice president of Innovation, Regulatory and Business Development for Elanco. He also serves as chair of the AgriNovus board of directors.
 
The organization announced in December Bechdol had been confirmed by the United Nations to be the Deputy Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization, which is based in Rome, Italy.

Her last day at AgriNovus will be February 28.
 
“Promoting Indiana’s deep food and agriculture innovation assets, building a community of partners who share a vision of growth for the state, and growing an organization and a team that is committed to the future of the agbiosciences bring me tremendous pride,” said Bechdol.

AgriNovus, the state’s initiative to promote the agriculture, biotech and sciences sectors, has secured Indianapolis-based Medallion Partners to conduct a nationwide search for the next executive to lead the organization.
 
During the transition, Schacht will also lead the CEO search committee.

“AgriNovus has an incredibly committed team that will continue to execute and lead critical programs and activities and countless partners that will help realize our shared mission of advancing Indiana’s agbiosciences sector,” said Schacht.
 
The FAO is an agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to alleviate world hunger and malnutrition.

“There is now an incredible opportunity for me to take the AgriNovus mission and priorities and translate those to the global stage,” said Bechdol.
 
Bechdol starts her new position in March.

The AgriNovus Executive Committee has formed a special committee to help lead the transition and search. Members include:
 
–Aaron Schacht, executive vice president of Innovation, Regulatory and Business Development for Elanco – chair of the AgriNovus Board and committee lead
–Jay Hulbert, president and CEO for Ag Alumni Seed – vice chair of the AgriNovus Board
–Beth Bechdol, president and CEO for AgriNovus Indiana
–Bill Johnson, president and CEO for Farm Credit Mid-America
–David Johnson, president and CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP)
–Johnny Park, president and CEO for Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN)
–Karen Plaut, Dean of the College of Agriculture for Purdue University
–Susanne Wasson, president of crop protection business platform for Corteva Agriscience

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