The Lansing food safety testing developer Neogen Corp. said Wednesday that its director of industry affairs Keith Creagh would take a leave of absence to serve as director of Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Creagh, who also supervises Neogen’s Hacco rodenticide division in Wisconsin, will assume his new duties Jan. 1.

“We’re extremely proud that Michigan’s Governor-elect Rick Snyder has tapped Keith for such a prestigious role in state government,” said Neogen chairman and CEO James Herbert. “The incoming Snyder administration saw the same credentials that we saw in Keith when we hired him in 2007. As Neogen has become larger, having someone with Keith’s capabilities to devote his attention to industry affairs, and to manage our Hacco manufacturing operations located in Wisconsin, has been important to Neogen’s consistent growth and ongoing success. We wish Keith nothing but the best in his role in state government.”

In his position at Neogen, Creagh works on Neogen’s behalf with senior officials at the federal and state agencies that impact the company’s products and customers. He also works with key industry trade associations representing Neogen at the committee level of select industry groups. Creagh also has operational responsibilities for Neogen’s Hacco facilities that manufacture rodenticides and disinfectants used to address food safety issues inside the farm gate. Neogen expects to fill Creagh’s responsibilities in his absence with a combination of internal sources and through a recruiting process for an external candidate.

Prior to joining Neogen in August 2007, Creagh held several leadership roles in state government and the private sector. Creagh joined the Michigan Department of Agriculture in 1974 as an inspector and rose in positions of responsibility throughout his 33-year career at the department, ultimately serving as chief deputy director. Creagh holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry from Michigan Technological University.

Neogen (Nasdaq: NEOG) develops and markets products dedicated to food and animal safety. The company’s Food Safety Division markets diagnostic test kits to detect foodborne bacteria, natural toxins, genetic modifications, food allergens, drug residues, plant diseases, and sanitation concerns, and dehydrated culture media. Neogen’s Animal Safety Division markets a complete line of diagnostics, veterinary instruments, veterinary pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements, disinfectants, and rodenticides.

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