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Gerry Salzman, new School of Agriculture Advisory Board chair
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Cliff Becker, new School of Agriculture Advisory Board vice chair
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New Members Named to WIU School of Agriculture's Advisory Board

April 19, 2021

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MACOMB, IL – The advisory board for Western Illinois University's School of Agriculture recently underwent some organizational changes.

The board is now led by new chairman Gerry Salzman, currently principal of GES International Consulting and retired senior director of global marketing for CaseIH Agriculture. He is also a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho (Brother of the Century Recognition) and Alpha Zeta fraternities, and a member of Blue Key. At WIU he also participated in Interfraternity Council, the University Union Board, Student Government, Ag Econ Club, and the Hoof and Horn Club.

Last year, Salzman was named one of 10 outstanding WIU School of Agriculture alumni during the department's 100th anniversary celebration. He graduated from WIU in 1971, with a degree in agricultural economics. He served six years in the U.S. Army Reserves.

The advisory board's new vice chair is Cliff Becker, senior vice president with Farm Journal. He previously worked as a consultant with CMA Consulting of Kansas City, where he worked with large agriculture and food companies.

He also had a 22-year career with Vance Publishing Corporation, serving as vice-president, publishing director for its food360 Division.

Becker was also named an outstanding alumnus from the WIU School of Agriculture earlier this year. He is a 1984 WIU graduate, with a degree in agriculture.

While he was at Western, Becker was a member of the Hoof and Horn Club and worked part-time at Jennings Sale Barn and the University Union Bookstore.

The School of Agriculture Advisory Board also includes new members:

Jeremy Kane, area business manager for Crop Protection and Seed Growth for Bayer Crop Science. He was also appointed to the board's nominating committee. Kane is a 2002 WIU graduate, with a degree in agriculture business.

Torie Schwartz, online sales manager for SC Sales. Schwartz is a 2011 WIU graduate, with a degree in agriculture business.

Scott Hall, territory manager at Calcium Products. He was also appointed to the nominating committee. Hall is a 1993 WIU graduate, with a degree in agriculture.

Salzman said the purpose of the School of Agriculture's Advisory Board is to advise and assist faculty in planning, evaluating and improving programs within the school. He added that the goals of the board include to continue rejuvenating agriculture alumni events, helping the school in developing recruitment strategies and providing assistance to its director of development in fundraising for scholarships and capital improvements.

"The School of Agriculture's roots run deep in the institutional history of Western Illinois University," said School of Agriculture Director Andy Baker. "This heritage has produced a well-respected, supportive alumni base that bleeds purple and gold. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with an advisory board that embodies the Leatherneck spirit. I am truly honored to assist in achieving future board objectives to advance our academic unit in becoming one of the premier agriculture programs in the country. I look forward to working with the new members, and leadership team, in the coming year. It is a great day to be a Leatherneck."

For more information about the WIU School of Agriculture, visit

Posted By: Jodi Pospeschil (
Office of University Communications & Marketing