Jeff Jennings of Clayton, N.C. has been named CEO of the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association effective July 3, 2017. Jennings is an Assistant Director of Marketing at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services where he manages the Domestic Marketing Section. Previously Jennings served as a program officer at the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission where he managed the commission’s portfolio of agricultural project grants.
“Jeff shares our vision for increasing the soybean association’s research and marketing capacity. That’s what farmers deserve from their checkoff,” said board president John Fleming. “He brings great management ability and years of experience in agricultural marketing.”
Jennings will lead the association’s checkoff-funded soybean research and promotion programs as well as the advocacy and membership programs tied to improving farm profitability. “Jeff has a strong record of working with North Carolina’s agricultural industry and he comes from a farm family. We are looking forward to bringing him on board,” said Fleming.
Jennings will replace CEO Charles Hall who is departing to relocate with his family to Germany in June 2017. Hall led the association’s staff for the past 11 years. Jennings and Hall are already busy planning for a smooth transition. Jennings’ first major activity with the association will be the Board of Directors Meeting planned for late July.
Jennings is a native of Weeksville, N.C. where he grew up on his family’s row crop farm. He still enjoys returning home and putting in a few hours in the tractor seat. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University (Hall was a UNC-CH graduate). During his time at the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Jennings helped lead major initiatives including the Goodness Grows in North Carolina and Got to Be N.C. promotional programs and the chain store produce marketing programs. While at the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, Jennings managed business development grants for agricultural investments in many North Carolina towns and counties.
Jennings resides in Clayton with his wife Lou. They have two daughters. “I want to say welcome from the soybean association and congratulations to Jeff and his family. We are very excited that he is joining the association’s staff,” said Fleming.