WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2017 - Jayson Lusk, past president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, is being presented with the Borlaug CAST Communication Award today at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa. CAST (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology) presents the award annually for “outstanding achievement by a scientist, engineer, technologist, or other professional working in the agricultural, environmental, or food sectors for contributing to the advancement of science in the public policy arena.” Lusk, who was recently named head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, has published multiple books and nearly 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, using multiple media to communicate information on food and agricultural economics … The World Food Prize itself will be presented to this year’s winner on Thursday. He is ag economist Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank. Adesina, a former agriculture minister in Nigeria, has focused his career on expanding food production in the region and helping African farmers.

Jim Gulliford is returning to the EPA as administrator for the agency’s Region 7, which covers Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Most recently, Gulliford served as executive director of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, leading the organization from 2009-2016. Before that, Gulliford spent nearly a decade at EPA, rising to the position of assistant administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances.

President Trump has picked AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. An attorney, Myers has headed up the weather-forecasting firm since 2007. Trump had earlier filled two deputy posts at NOAA: former Navy oceanographer Rear Adm. Timothy Gallaudet and Neil Jacobs, chief atmospheric scientist at Panasonic Avionics Corporation.

Craig Morris has left USDA for the National Pork Board where he’s the new vice president of International Marketing. Morris has been deputy administrator over the Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program at the Agriculture Marketing Service since 2004. The Pork Board notes that Morris recently played a leadership role in the U.S. delegation that re-opened the Chinese market to American beef exports after 14 years of closure… Before leaving, Morris announced another change in leadership in the LPS program. Melissa Bailey, who’s been associate deputy administrator of AMS’ Specialty Crops Program, will take over as LPS associate deputy administrator on Nov. 6, replacing Larry Meadows, who’s retiring at the end of the year.

Rural Media Group has appointed Alexander “Sandy” Brown as its chief operating officer. Brown is a former president and CEO of ONE World Sports, president of sports for Univision Communications, managing director at ESPN Asia and ESPN STAR Sports, and president and CEO of CNBC Asia. As COO with Rural Media Group, Brown will lead the company’s operating businesses worldwide focusing on the RMG brand family which includes RFD-TV, The Cowboy Channel, and Rural Radio Channel 147 on SiriusXM.

The Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research recently honored Jeremy Peters, CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts, with its 2017 prize for Agri-Environmental Innovation. CBEAR Outreach Director Mark Masters said Peters’ leadership at NACD is based, largely, “on his ability to bridge the gaps that often exist between research, policy and application.” CBEAR is a collaborative group of researchers that incorporates behavioral insights into program designs, primarily within USDA, to achieve greater levels of participation and satisfaction, improved environmental outcomes and reduced program costs.

The American Soybean Association is looking for a new top executive after losing Steve Censky to USDA. Censky, who had been ASA’s CEO for 21 years, is now the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture after working through the Senate confirmation process. In the meantime, Brian Vaught, the organization’s chief financial officer, is serving as the acting CEO. An ASA spokesman says the group wants to “get someone on board as soon as possible,” but is not operating under any strict time constraint. ASA has retained Hedlin Ag Enterprises for its search.

The White House says Brock Bierman, a former official in the George W. Bush administration, is being tapped as USAID's assistant administrator for Europe and Eurasia. In 2007, Bush nominated him to be FEMA's first small-state and rural advocate.

OFW Law has hired Kristen O’Brien as counsel in its health industry policy and regulatory practice. An ex-staffer for former Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., O’Brien most recently was a senior legislative counsel with the American Medical Association.

Marné Marotta has been hired by Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP where, among other things, she’ll be lobbying on trade issues for the South Korean industrial conglomerate Hyosung. She joined the law firm from the staff of Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., where she was a legislative assistant. She has also worked for Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Scott Brown, R-Mass.

The American Bankers Association has elected Kenneth Burgess Jr. as its chairman for the 2017-2018 association year. He is also the chairman of FirstCapital Bank of Texas, The Texas Tech alum succeeds Dorothy Savarese, CEO and chairman of Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank in Massachusetts.