Congratulations to Agri-Pulse's own Spencer Chase for winning the National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s Horizon Award at NAFB’s annual convention last week in Kansas City, Missouri. The award recognizes a broadcaster with less than five years of membership who shows promise in the industry. Chase, a proud graduate of South Dakota State University, interned with Agri-Pulse in 2013 and joined the news organization a year later, reporting on all aspects of agriculture from the national’s capital while overseeing the organization’s growing broadcast operation. Earlier this year, Chase was named Agri-Pulse’s deputy managing editor … In addition, Agri-Pulse founder and editor Sara Wyant was elected president of the NAFB Foundation, the nonprofit charitable and educational arm of NAFB, which funds student internships and scholarships, plus continuing education.

Others honored at the NAFB convention include: Tom Steever, anchor/reporter with Brownfield Ag News, who was named Farm Broadcaster of the Year, and Matt and Kate Lambert of Uptown Farms in Laclede, Missouri, who won the inaugural Missouri Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors achievement in voluntary stewardship and natural resources management. Uptown Farms consists of row crop and hay production, as well as a herd of Red Angus cattle and small flock of Hampshire and Dorper sheep. The Lamberts operate a no-till farm, and utilize cover crops to help avoid soil erosion and run-off.

State delegates to the American Angus Association’s annual convention elected Kevin Yon, of Ridge Spring, South Carolina, as the group’s president and board chairman, succeeding Charlie Boyd of May’s Lick, Kentucky. John Pfeiffer Jr., of Mulhall, Oklahoma, was elected vice president and vice board chairman. Don Schiefelbein, of Kimball, Minnesota, will serve as the 2017-2018 treasurer. Click here to see a list of board members elected or re-elected during the recent convention in Fort Worth, Texas.

The American Feed Industry Association hired Raamezah Ahmad as its new graphic and web design coordinator. The recent George Mason University grad will also serve as the lead designer for AFIA's semi-annual printed magazine, AFIA Journal, and support AFIA's Marketing Committee. 

Allen Johnson has left the office of Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., to take a position as director of government affairs with Citizens Against Government Waste. With Duncan, Johnson handled agriculture and animal welfare issues, among other things.

Gov. Scott Walker appointed state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf as the first woman to head Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. She’s replacing Ben Brancel who retired in August. Harsdorf, who holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Minnesota, is a partner in a family dairy operation. She’s been serving in the state Senate since 2001, following eight years in the state Assembly. Harsdorf is also a former president of the Wisconsin FFA Foundation Sponsor’s Board.

Oklahoma County horticulturalist Rodd Moesel was elected president of Oklahoma Farm Bureau at the organization’s annual meeting last weekend in Norman. Moesel defeated incumbent Tom Buchanan in a runoff. The small-business owner from central Oklahoma has represented District Three on the OKFB board of directors for seven years. He was re-elected to serve his third term in 2016. 

The International Dairy Foods Association named Thomas Wojno to a newly created position as senior vice president of innovation and member advancement. Prior to joining IDFA, Wojno served as vice president of member value and strategy for the National Restaurant Association.

The World Food Program USA elected a new slate of officers and is expanding its board amid a first-time-in-a-decade increase in chronic food insecurity. The new board officers are: Randy Russell, chairman; Bonnie Raquet, vice chair; Larry Darrow, board secretary; and Tony Fratto as treasurer. Former Senator Tom Daschle, D-S.D., was also added to the board. Russell is president of the agriculture and food consulting firm The Russell Group. Raquet is a former corporate VP with Cargill, Darrow is president and group manager of Global Business Services at UPS in Atlanta; and Fratto is a founding partner at Hamilton Place Strategies in Washington. Click here to see a complete list of the group’s board members.

The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) honored S. Suzanne Nielsen of Purdue University and Ann Marie VanDerZanden of Iowa State University as recipients of USDA’s National Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards for Food and Agricultural Sciences. The awards, which celebrate university faculty for their use of innovative teaching methods and service to students, were presented at APLU’s recent annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Five regional and two new-teacher awardees were also honored. The five regional awards went to: L. Suzanne Goodell of North Carolina State University; Susan K. Jacobson of the University of Florida; Robert A. Lane of Sam Houston State University; Janice Marie Siegford of Michigan State University; and Steven Andrew Zinn of the University of Connecticut. Chad T. Miller of Kansas State University and Christine Whitney Miller of the University of Florida each received best new teacher honors.

Jay Ackridge has been named Purdue University’s provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity. Ackridge, who is also a professor of agricultural economics, previously served for more than eight years as the school’s Glenn W. Sample Dean of Agriculture.

There’s a new director of policy and communications at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. He’s Scott Waterman who previously was the public information officer with the Vermont State Police.

Pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar is being tapped by President Trump to head the Department of Health and Human Services. He would succeed Tom Price, who resigned amid a scandal over use of private jets at government expense. Azar spent a decade at Eli Lilly and Co., including five years as president of Lilly USA, before stepping down in January to work as a health-care consultant. He previously was HHS general counsel, then served for two years as the department’s second-in-command.

Michel Doukeris has been appointed Zone President for North America and CEO of Anheuser-Busch, effective Jan. 1. Doukeris now serves as chief sales officer of Anheuser-Busch inBev. He succeeds Joao Castro, who will support Doukeris during a transition period.

Jim Kirkwood, recently retired from a top executive position at General Mills, has been appointed an official adviser to Ontario-based Noblegen Inc. The company describes itself as “an advanced ingredients startup that produces unique proteins and oils for the healthy living industry.” At General Mills, Kirkwood was chief science and technology development officer and vice president at GM’s Global Center for Technology Creation.

Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative in Green Bay, Wis., has a new name: Edge. John Pagel, a Wisconsin dairy farmer and president of Edge, says the new name represents “the growth and evolution our cooperative has undergone over the past seven years.”

Hugo Tottino, a partner and owner of Ocean Mist Farms in the Castroville area of Central California, died Nov. 6 at the age of 91. Tottino, who grew up farming artichokes, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower on his family’s 40-acre farm, began working for the California Artichoke and Vegetable Growers Corp. (now Ocean Mist Farms) in 1947 after serving in the Navy during World War II. In 2015, he was honored with the E.E. “Gene” Harden Award for Lifetime Achievement in Central Coast Agriculture by the Grower-Shipper Association.

Susan Stout, a retired vice president of federal affairs with the Grocery Manufacturers Association, died Nov. 3 at the age of 74. Stout also was a former director of government affairs for what was then the American Meat Institute and a mentor to many other women in the industry. She battled and beat cancer four times. Friends described her as truly, "one of a kind."