RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Bayer CropScience has appointed William Buckner to head its U.S. business operations. In his new role, Buckner will report to Esmail Zirakparvar, head of Bayer CropScience for the Region Americas and president and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP, the global company’s U.S. business.

“We are pleased to have Bill Buckner leading our U.S. business operations,” Zirakparvar said. “The United States represents a significant portion of the world’s crop protection market, and we believe he is the right person to help us further grow market share here by providing the innovative products and best-in-class service that add value to the businesses of our American farmers.“

Zirakparvar was appointed to his position as head of the Region Americas for Bayer CropScience in July 2004 when the company adopted a new global organizational structure. He also was appointed president and CEO of Bayer CropScience LP at that time.

Buckner succeeds Bernd Naaf, who will become head of the Asia-Pacific Region for Bayer CropScience. In his new position as head of U.S. business operations, Buckner will be located at the company’s Region Americas business headquarters in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Buckner’s most recent assignment was president and CEO of Bayer CropScience in Canada. He has headed the Canadian operations since 1998. Prior to that assignment, he held several senior positions at the company’s global headquarters in Monheim, Germany, as well as in the United States. He has been with Bayer’s agriculture business since 1993.

“I am excited about the opportunity to return to the United States and join our U.S. business,” Buckner stated. “We have introduced a number of new products to the North American market over the past several years and plan to introduce others. We look to continue to provide those new technologies that help to increase the competitiveness of American growers, and we look to continue to live up to our slogan Your Partner for Growth.”

Buckner was raised on a grain and livestock farm near Mexico, Mo. He attended the University of Missouri, graduating in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. Buckner's business career spans 24 years in the areas of agri-finance, veterinary pharmaceuticals and crop science.

Bayer CropScience LP is the U.S. business of Bayer CropScience, which has its global headquarters in Monheim, Germany. Bayer CropScience, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 5.8 billion (2003), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. Bayer CropScience ranks third in sales among North American crop science companies.

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com