"With deep appreciation for his dedicated service, we announce Bud Hughes has elected to pursue other career opportunities” Emergent Genetics' Sam Dryden said. “Bud has, for the past 14 years, been integral to the growth and development of Stoneville Pedigreed Seed Company.

“He was instrumental in the redesign of Emergent Genetics global organizational structure. While fully supportive of these changes, and with a profound commitment to the organization, Bud feels that this is a logical juncture for him to build on his experience and look outside the company for the next phase of his career. In this regard, we are fully supportive of his desires.”

Dryden said Hughes leaves a “profound and lasting imprint on Stoneville and Emergent Genetics, as well as the industry.

“Above all, one of his most lasting legacies is the organization which he built,” he noted. “Under Bud's guidance, many employees of Stoneville now hold key strategic leadership positions in Emergent Genetics."

Hughes joined Stoneville in 1988 as director of operations, and served as president and CEO since 1992. During the 1990s, he guided the company through many changes.

In 1995, for example, the company became the world's first to commercialize genetically engineered cottonseed. Eventually, all the company's varieties transitioned to transgenic cotton.

Additionally, Hughes oversaw strategic germplasm acquisitions to help broaden and accelerate Stoneville's germplasm development capabilities.

Hughes, an ardent advocate of U.S. cotton and Stoneville, has served the seed and cotton industries in a number of leadership roles. These roles include past-president of the Mississippi Seedsmen's Association; past-president of the Mississippi Crop Improvement Association; trustee and Research Screening Committee chairman for the Cotton Foundation of the National Cotton Council; director of the Southern Seedsmen's Association; advisor to the board of Cotton Council International; director of Agricenter International; director and southeastern U.S. regional vice president of the American Seed Trade Association; and director of the Mississippi State Seed Board.

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com