Project Management  »  History April 24, 2018

   Project Management History


American Agricultural Services, Inc. (American Ag) was incorporated in North Carolina in 1982. The company was founded by Dr. Lafayette Thompson Jr., following his tenure at North Carolina State University. Initially, American Ag was involved in two major types of business: contract research from its Field Research Facility in Lucama, North Carolina and grower services from its Cary, North Carolina office. Through its first five years, American Ag's primary business was providing crop consulting to growers (farmers in North Carolina, Virginia and south to Florida). In 1986, American Ag employed 50 professionals, who provided crop consulting services to growers throughout the Southeast.

In 1986, Dr. Ronald P. Thompson joined American Ag as Vice President and partner. Prior to joining American Ag, Dr. Ron Thompson was Director of Commercial Development for Monsanto's Biotechnology Unit in St. Louis.

In 1986 American Ag's business began to change. Greenhouses were built on the Field Research Facility at Lucama and pesticide efficacy and crop variety performance studies were managed throughout the Southeast. Also in 1987, American Ag conducted its first GLP residue trials at the Field Research Facility in Lucama.

By 1988, American Ag was no longer in the business of providing services to growers. Its business included contract research at the Field Research Facility in Lucama and management of field studies with multiple field sites across the United States (primarily GLP crop residue and processing fraction studies).


American Ag's Project Management Business grew out of its initial management of pesticide efficacy studies and crop variety evaluation studies in the Southeast US as early as 1985. In 1988 the project management group in Cary managed its first GLP studies (crop residue and processing fraction). The business continued to grow and in 1991 was awarded the contract to manage malathion re-registration residue and processing studies. This project consisted of 38 studies in crops with approximately 210 field trials in locations throughout the United States. About one year later, American Ag was awarded the first of many contracts from the Phenoxy Task Forces for crop residue, processing and dissipation studies. The malathion studies, the phenoxy studies and the other studies from its many corporate clients made American Ag the largest project management firm in the agrochemical industry.

In 1993, American Ag's project management business expanded again by initiating its first import tolerance study in Latin America. Since that time the Latin American business has become a major component of American Ag's business. From the Cary office American Ag has managed/conducted 75 studies with approximately 500 trials in Latin America.

In 1994, American Ag opened an office in Lyon, France staffed with five European personnel. Since then, European Agricultural Services has become an established project management firm for Europe and Africa. American Ag sold European Ag in 2002.

In total, American Ag has managed 1,000+ studies and approximately 7,500 trials in 28 countries around the world including, North America, Europe, South America, Latin America, Thailand, India, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand.

Since 1990, American Ag's project management function has also added a registration and a market research function. With assistance from registration personnel, American Ag manages other study types, such as toxicology studies, ecotoxicology studies and studies to determine the physical and chemical properties of active ingredients and formulations.

American Agricultural Services client list includes most of the multinational agrochemical companies, smaller basic producers, larger generic producers, as well as the large distributors of pesticides in the USA and around the world.

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