Former Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., has been hired by the Wilderness Society to lobby on "conservation issues relating to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," according to records posted last week. Dorgan is a senior policy adviser for the Washington, D.C., law firm Arent Fox LLP.
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill., announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election and that he plans to spend the “last chapter” of his life helping to rebuild hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico. Gutiérrez, who has been a strong proponent for immigration reform, endorsed Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia as his successor during a Chicago news conference.
David Grahn says he’s leaving USDA and heading to the Farm Credit Administration in January where he’ll be the agency’s associate general counsel. At USDA he’s been serving as associate general counsel in the department’s International Affairs, Food Assistance and Rural Programs Division.
Two USDA scientists have been honored as 2017 Fellows by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in recognition of their contributions to science and technology, scientific leadership, and extraordinary achievements across disciplines. Congratulations to Chavonda Jacobs-Young, who serves as administrator for USDA’s Agriculture Research Service as well as acting deputy undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics, and Autar K. Mattoo, a plant physiologist. at the ARS’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory in Beltsville, Md. Along with other new AAAS Fellows, Jacobs-Young and Mattoo will during a Feb. 18 forum at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue appointed Randell Eronimous, of Seattle, and Erin Sharp, of Cincinnati, to the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board for terms expiring June 20, 2020. Four board members were also reappointed. They are: Lynne Bohan, Lynnfield, Mass.; Jeffrey Stephens, Lakeland, Fla.; Edward Mullins, Carlinville, Ill.; and Evan Rainwater, Boise, Idaho. The 20-member board, which includes 15 milk processors from different geographic regions, administers a checkoff program that pays for advertising and promotional programs to increase demand for fluid milk products… Perdue also appointed 19 members to three-year terms on the United Soybean Board. Three alternates were also named. The board, which manages the soybean checkoff, is composed of 73 members representing 29 states and Eastern and Western regions. Click here to see a list of the new board members.
Whitney Forman-Cook is leaving her post as communications director with the National Association of Conservation Districts. The Michigan State alum, a former reporter for Agri-Pulse, will be heading up communications for the National Association of State Foresters effective Dec. 1.
Robert Stephenson has been named chief operating officer and executive vice president at USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation Mission area and the Commodity Credit Corporation. Most recently, Stephenson was serving as acting chief of staff for Farm Production and Conservation Mission. Prior to that, he spent 17 years as director of the Conservation and Environmental Programs Division with the Farm Service Agency.
Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, hired Eric Einhorn as his senior counsel for technology policy. For the past five and a half years, Einhorn has been working as a lobbyist for Windstream Communications, a Fortune 500 telecom company. The hiring comes weeks before the Federal Communications Commission is to vote on a proposal to roll back net-neutrality rules. Schatz is the ranking member of the Commerce Committee's Communications, Technology, Innovation and Internet Subcommittee and an opponent of the FCC proposal.
Eric Pahls has joined Carly Fiorina’s Unlocking Potential Foundation as director of communications and partnerships. The University of Kansas grad had been working since January as press secretary for Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan. On its website, the Foundation describes itself as a “charitable organization that strengthens the problem-solving and leadership capacity of the community-based organizations tackling our nation’s most difficult problems…”
The North Dakota Soybean Council named Stephanie Sinner as its interim CEO. Sinner, who has been with NDSC since 2013, is currently the group’s director of market development. She’s replacing Diana Beitelspacher, who has served as CEO for 7 years.
Ducks Unlimited hired Nick Wiley as its new chief conservation officer. Wiley is currently the executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He also chairs the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports. Wiley starts the new job in January.
Shawn Jasper will be the next chief of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food. The Republican was tapped for the job by Gov. Chris Sununu while serving his second term as speaker of the state House of Representatives. The department is responsible for developing markets for the state’s farmers and ensuring safe and healthy food supplies. New Hampshire has about 4,400 commercial farms covering 470,000 acres, with milk and apples among the top products or crops. The current commissioner, Lorraine Merrill, is retiring at the end of the year after two five-year terms.
Denver-based Inocucor, a developer and producer of biological crop inputs for agriculture, has appointed Shawn Semones as its executive vice president for research and development and chief technology officer. Semones has spent more than 18 years with Novozymes Biologicals Inc., most recently directing the company’s global field R&D team.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has hired two outside lobbying firms – Hannegan Landau Poersch & Rosenbaum Advocacy and the S-3 Group -- to amplify its positions on Capitol Hill. NFWF spokesman Rob Blumenthal says the firms will help the foundation update NFWF’s role related to natural resource restoration in the aftermath of recent hurricanes.
The International Association for Cold Storage Construction elected Tim Nguyen, with Arlington, Texas-based ESI Group, as its chairman at IACSC’s recent board meeting. Vince Free, with SubZero Constructors in Margarita, Calif., is the new vice chair, and Marko Dzeletovich, with Ontario-based Coldbox Builders was elected Treasurer.
Funeral services were held last weekend for Paul Aasness, of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, a former board member of U.S. Wheat Associates who died Nov. 21 at the age of 77. Aasness, who served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1979-1983, also spent nine years on the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council. In 1975, the Minnesota Jaycees named him their Outstanding Farmer of the Year.
A celebration of the life of Gus Schumacher will be held on Dec. 2 at 1 p.m. at National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Ave. NW, Washington D.C. Schumacher, a former USDA undersecretary, died Sept. 24 at the age of 77. At USDA, he also served as administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service. In addition, he was a co-founder and board chairman of the non-profit nutrition group Wholesome Wave and a former commissioner of Food and Agriculture for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.