Ag advocates among Hill's top lobbyists

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



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WASHINGTON, Nov. 1, 2012 - The Hill has got another list out - though this one isn't quite as sexy as its annual “50 Most Beautiful.” The publication put out its “2012 Top Lobbyists” yesterday, and the decidedly unscientific list includes some interesting agricultural players - and omits some others.

Notably absent are commodity group lobbyists - those who advocate for the grain, dairy, oilseed, and cotton industries. Also missing: Those highly effective Washington movers-and-shakers at the front of big agribusinesses like Monstanto, Deere, and Dupont Pioneer. Finally, The Hill skipped over most big food manufacturer players, lobbyists at companies like ConAgra and Dean Foods.

Still, many agricultural policy buffs made the list. Here are those endorsed by The Hill as “names to know”:

 

Mary Kay Thatcher, American Farm Bureau Federation. “Hands-down one of the top agricultural lobbyists in town,” The Hill writes, “Thatcher has labored tirelessly for a farm bill that reforms commodity subsidies while expanding crop insurance protections.”

Charles Stenholm, Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz PC. Stenholm is a former longtime congressman (a Democrat from Texas), and was a ranking member on the Agricultural Committee for eight years. At OFW, he specializes in agricultural issues.

Ken Cook, Environmental Working Group. “Still going strong at the group he co-founded in 1993,” The Hill writes, “Cook is a respected voice on agriculture policy and ethanol fuel.

Scott DeFife, National Restaurant Association. The (other) NRA has a particular interest in commodity policy as it affects restaurant supply chains, and Defife has been at the front of their effort.

Cal Dooley, American Chemistry Council. Dooley is a former Democratic House member from California and a member of the Agriculture Committee. He is also former CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Today, he's fighting against EPA regulations and influencing natural gas policy at ACC.

Glenn English, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. English is another former Democratic congressman, this time from Oklahoma, and another former member of the Agriculture Committee. He has been CEO of NRECA for 18 years.

Jim Greenwood, Biotechnology Industry Organization. The former Pennsylvania congressman has been focused on drug issues as of late, is still involved with agriculture biotechnology

Bill Lane, Caterpillar. Lane has been particularly active in promoting trade agreements, and has been an important proponent for agricultural interests.

Denise Bode and Rob Gramlich, American Wind Energy Association. Bode's “fluency in tax policy has been a godsend for wind companies as they push Congress to extend an industry incentive,” according to The Hill, and Gramlich presided over the recent “explosive growth in wind power.”

Tom Buis, Growth Energy. Buis, the CEO of the biofuels trade group, is the former president of the National Farmers Union and was once an agricultural legislative assistant to former senator Tom Daschle (D-S.D.). Now, he's pushing for the biofuels so important to rural residents.

 Bob Dinneen, Renewable Fuels Association. The Hill has this to say: “A Capitol Hill mainstay for the biofuels industry, Dinneen has been an integral player in many of the renewable fuels sector's policy victories.”

Rich Glick, Iberdrola Renewables. Glick lends this second-largest wind power operator a touch of “savvy,” says The Hill.

Abigail Blunt, Kraft Food Group. Kraft has a particular interest in dairy policy, and Blunt is “whip-smart,” according to The Hill. She's also the wife of Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Sarah Thorn, Wal-Mart. Thorn was active in agricultural trade promotion while senior director of international trade at the Grocery Manufacturers Association. Now, at Wal-Mart, Thorn continues to work on international trade issues.

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