ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) ¿ The chairman of MGP Ingredients Inc. has stepped down after almost three years in the position and 40 years with the company.

The Atchison-based maker of grain-based ingredients and alcohol products for the branded packaged goods industry said 63-year-old Ladd Seaberg will remain a consultant with the company for two years, earning $250,000 a year.

Seaberg started at the company in 1969 and eventually served as chief executive for 20 years. He will be replaced on the board by his wife, Karen Seaberg, the granddaughter of the company's founder.

The board has selected director John Spiers as the new chairman, effective immediately. He was elected to the board in October 2004 and has been closely tied to MGP's strategy shift to focus on its core ingredients business.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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