Former Senator Bob Dole is being honored today with the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the country’s highest civilian honors. The Republican, a decorated Army veteran from World War II, represented Kansas in Congress for 36 years, serving as the Senate majority or minority leader from 1985 through 1996. Now 94, Dole was also the GOP presidential nominee in 1996. “He is a true American hero who has dedicated his life to serving our nation and great state of Kansas,” said Sen. Pat Roberts, another lawmaker from Kansas. The medal is awarded to persons “who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s field long after the achievement.” The ceremony is scheduled to take place in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol this afternoon.
President Donald Trump nominated Johnathan Miller to be an Assistant Administrator (Bureau for Africa) of the United States Agency for International Development. Miller most recently served as president of Airborne Lifeline Foundation, which provided scheduled air transport of medical personnel to remote medical facilities in several Southern African countries. Miller has also served as Peace Corps Director in Botswana, at USAID and the Department of State, Senior Director at the National Security Council, Deputy Assistant to President Reagan and as chief of staff to former Congressman William Goodling of Pennsylvania.
Syngenta named Alexandra Brand to the new position of chief sustainability officer. She had been the Switzerland-based company’s regional director for Europe, Africa and the Middle East. As CSO, Brand will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Erik Fyrwald.
The North American Meat Institute hired Casey Gallimore as its director of regulatory and scientific affairs. Most recently, Gallimore served as regulatory food safety manager at Triumph Foods, in Saint Joseph, Missouri, where she oversaw the implementation of an electronic Quality Management System, among other things. Gallimore was also the company’s liaison to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration and other government organizations.
Joseph J. Knilans has been selected to serve as the Rural Affairs Advocate in the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, working for the interests of small businesses and local communities with a population of 50,000 or less. Knilans previously served as the deputy director in the Office of Business Development for the state of Wisconsin.
Missouri Farmers Care has inducted five individuals who were instrumental in crafting and promoting the state’s Farming Rights Amendment as the inaugural class in the group’s Hall of Fame. The honorees are: Rep. Jason Smith, Lt. Gov. Mike Parson, State Sen. Brian Munzlinger, State Rep. Bill Reiboldt, and Forrest Lucas, founder of Protect the Harvest. Passed in 2014, the Farming Rights Amendment, known as Amendment 1, protects farmers from “harmful, misleading and unnecessary legislation driven by out of state activist groups.”
The World Food Prize Foundation has appointed Madeline Goebel as the new director of the Iowa Hunger Summit and Community Outreach. A graduate of Drake University, Goebel began her association with the World Food Prize Foundation in 2015 as a George Washington Carver Intern, working closely with the Foundation’s director of planning and director of Iowa Education Programs.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue appointed Dan Sleaford, of Manito, Illinois, and Rachel Foley of Delphi, Indiana, to serve three-year terms on the Popcorn Board. The Popcorn Promotion, Research and Consumer Information program, operating as the Popcorn Board, helps maintain and expand existing markets and develop new markets for popcorn and popcorn products. The board is comprised of five popcorn processors.
Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., has hired Michael Bogner as a staff assistant in his Grand Island office. The recent Wayne State College grad completed an internship in the office last year.
Nick Levendofsky will be joining the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union as director of external affairs starting in mid-March, working out of the Denver office. RMFI covers Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico. Levendofsky has been working as a government relations associate for the Wisconsin Farmers Union.
Wayne, Nebraska-based Beck Ag Inc. has named Jay Kelley as its new president. Kelley, who joined agricultural consultant Beck Ag in 2014, previously led business development and implementation activities for Agri Business Group and for Adayana Agribusiness Group.
Burgee Amdahl, a former CEO of Farm Credit Services of St. Paul, Wisconsin, died Jan. 10. Amdahl was also a president of the St. Paul Bank for Cooperatives and, in 1996, was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C.