Mary Kay Thatcher plans to join Syngenta's Washington, D.C. office as senior lead of Federal Government Relations in mid-February. In this new role, Thatcher will support the company’s strategic federal government relations activities including outreach and advocacy.

As Agri-Pulse reported Jan. 3, Thatcher announced plans to retire from the American Farm Bureau Federation at the end of January, after working for the organization for 31 years, most recently as Senior Director of Congressional Relations at AFBF. She is widely recognized as one of the most knowledgeable farm policy experts in the United States. She primarily lobbies on farm programs, crop insurance, conservation, and credit issues.

“Mary Kay’s experience in delivering policy results to America’s producers and consumers demonstrates her unmatched capacity for successful coalition building, strategic insight and political savvy,” said Laura Peterson, head of Federal Government Relations, Syngenta. “She will contribute to our sustainable agriculture policy expertise. As one of the foremost experts on farm policy in the United States, with an exceptional background in legislative and administrative issues – from digital technology to the Farm Bill – Mary Kay will help us better serve farmers across the country.”

Thatcher noted that she has spent her career advocating in the association and government worlds and was eager for a new role.

"I am excited to work in an industry capacity at Syngenta, a strong competitor with great people, a focused strategy, and superior products and services. I admire the guiding principles of The Good Growth Plan – it is truly a model approach for agriculture."

Prior to joining AFBF in 1982, Thatcher served as a legislative assistant for agriculture and trade to Sen. Roger Jepsen of Iowa. Also, she served in President George H. W. Bush’s Administration as director of Congressional and Public Affairs for the Farm Credit Administration.

Thatcher is a graduate of Iowa State University where she earned degrees in animal science and agricultural economics. As a fifth generation Iowa farmer, Thatcher has owned and operated her farm in Iowa for the past 23 years, producing corn, soybeans and livestock.

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