Jerry Sinift, interim general manager of the International Agri-Center in Tulare, Calif., has been officially appointed to the post by the board of directors.

Sinift has been managing the non-profit organization since his predecessor resigned in December.

“Jerry was enthusiastically voted into the permanent position by the board,” reported board president Jerry Magoon, a long-time volunteer and former World Ag Expo chairman. “We all feel very strongly that he will continue to do a good job, and will lead this organization into the next decade quite smoothly.”

For the past five years Sinift has been assistant general manager, overseeing Heritage Complex in addition to assisting in the management of World Ag Expo — the world's largest ag trade show. For 20 years, he was an exhibitor at World Ag Expo and served as chairman of the World Ag Expo Exhibitor Advisory Committee from 1995 to 2000.

Born and reared in Tulare, Sinift is married to Carolyn, who runs a bookkeeping business. Together, they are parents to son, Jeremy, a biology major at UC Santa Barbara, and daughter, Shaun, a senior at Tulare Union High School.

‘Have big plans’

“I am excited about what lies ahead for World Ag Expo and the International Agri-Center,” Sinift said. “We expect the next World Ag Expo to be even bigger and better, with the possible addition of new crop- and livestock-specific exhibit areas. And, we have big plans for the site — including the possibility of a new permanent building. Internally, we've also made some structural changes with input from our consultant so we go into our next 40 years stronger than ever.”

Sinift also announced the promotion of International Agri-Center staffer, Erin Machado, to facility director for Heritage Complex, filling his shoes there.

Machado began her career with the Agri-Center in 1999 as the coordinator for the Learning Center at Heritage Complex, which opened to great fanfare in October 2000. Two years later, she was named assistant facility director.

Since then she has launched AgVentures! at Heritage Complex, the new interactive learning center. During World Ag Expo, Machado leads the international business programs to boost the number of foreign buyer contingents that attend each year.

Machado is past president of the Tulare-Kings chapter of California Women for Agriculture, and regional alumni director for the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation.

A native of Tulare, Machado is a graduate of the University of California, Davis, with a major in plant science. She is currently studying for her master's degree at California State University, Fresno.

“I have always considered it a privilege to serve this community through my work here,” she says. “Jerry Sinift has left big shoes for me to fill — but I'm thankful to have a talented staff and generous volunteers to help me succeed.”

The 40th anniversary of World Ag Expo will be held Feb. 13-15, 2007, under the leadership of exhibitor-volunteer Bruce Shannon. Visit www.farmshow.org to keep current.