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ArborGen Announces Appointment of Justin Birch as President and CEO

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (News release) -- ArborGen Inc, the largest global supplier of tree seedling products for the forestry industry, is pleased to announce the appointment of Justin Birch as president and chief executive officer. Mr. Birch succeeds Andrew Baum, who will retire on June 19th but will continue in a consulting capacity to facilitate a seamless leadership transition.

Mr. Birch is an experienced executive with significant agricultural sector exposure and a strong private equity, operations, finance, and strategy background. Previously he was the Chief Financial Officer of Prima® Wawona in California, an industry leader in the fresh fruit category. Before this role, Mr. Birch served in various operations, finance, sales, and strategy positions at Prima® Wawona and Materra Farming, an investor-owned farming company. He has also worked for multiple private equity groups, specializing in the food and agriculture sectors. Mr. Birch will be based at ArborGen's headquarters in Ridgeville, South Carolina.

David Knott, Chairman, said, "We are delighted to welcome Justin to our company, following a robust recruitment process. Justin will bring a wealth of commercial experience and excellent operational, financial and leadership skills to ArborGen. The Board believes he is a great fit for ArborGen, with the combination of skills and experience to lead the business through its next phase. ArborGen has a refocused growth strategy with clear and sizeable opportunities. There is positive momentum now in the business and Justin will continue to build on this and grow ArborGen's leadership position in the advanced genetics seedling market."

About ArborGen

ArborGen is the largest global supplier of tree seedling products and the leading provider of elite genetics for the forest industry. Using a full array of technologies from conventional breeding through genomics, ArborGen is developing high-value products that significantly improve the productivity, cash flows, and value of pine forests for sustainable forestry. ArborGen's genetically advanced seedlings are increasingly being recognized as a proven, cost-effective tool for improving rates of return while reducing downside risk for forestry investors.


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