Erica Navarro has joined USDA as the director of the Office of Budget and Program Analysis. Navarro, who holds an MBA from Yale School of Management, previously served as budget director for the Education Department and the U.S. General Services Administration. “A top priority at USDA is to be the most effective, most efficient, and best-managed department in the entire federal government,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “Highly qualified officials like Erica will help us achieve that goal.”

The National Pork Board has a new manager of international marketing coming on board at the end of July. She’s Clay Eastwood, who was recently honored as the outstanding Ph.D. graduate student in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University. Her focus in graduate school was fresh meat quality and food safety.

David Johanson, is the new chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, succeeding Rhonda Schmidtlein, whose term as chair expired June 16. Johanson, the senior Republican on the Commission, became chairman by law in the absence of a presidential designation. Johanson was nominated to the ITC by President Barack Obama in 2011 and has been serving as the Commission’s vice chair since August 2016. He had served as international trade counsel on the GOP staff of the Senate Finance Committee from 2003 until his USITC appointment.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture this week is saying goodbye to Madeleine O’Connor, who’s heading to New York City for a job with the Community Preservation Corporation, which works with banks to give loans for affordable housing development. O’Connor has been FFAR’s communications director since January 2016. Stephanie Miles is now handling press operations.

Jessica Robinson is a new group director at Osborn Barr, the agriculture-oriented PR agency. Robinson previously was director of communications at the National Biodiesel Board.

The National Restaurant Association is looking for as new VP of public affairs. The group says Cicely Simpson, NRA’s top lobbyist, left the organization on June 15 following high turnover in the government affairs and communications team. “We remain grateful to Cicely for her contributions to the Association and wish her well in her future endeavors,” Marvin Irby, the group’s chief people officer, said in an email.

Paige Decker joined the House Ways and Means Committee as the majority's coordinator of member services and coalitions. She previously served as the Biotechnology Innovation Organization's manager of alliance development and external relations.

Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., hired Jacy Spencer as community liaison and agriculture specialist working out of his office in Grand Island, Neb. The University of Nebraska grad joins Smith’s staff after completing policy internships in Washington with the National Corn Growers Association, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the Public Lands Council.

The American Seed Trade Association has a new leadership team in place. Jerry Flint, with Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont, was elected chair for the 2018-19 term at ASTA’s recent Policy and Leadership Development Conference in Washington. Wayne Gale, with Stokes Seeds, was elected first vice chair, and John Latham, of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, second vice chair. The new officers start their terms on July 1.

Robert Haus, director of public affairs at the Department of Energy, is leaving DOE for a government relations job with Corteva Agriscience, the ag division of DowDuPont. Corteva was formed during the combination of DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow Agrosciences. The long-time aide to Energy Secretary Rick Perry starts the new job next month.

Mars Inc. named Andrew Clarke as the next global president of its candy business, Mars Wrigley Confectionery. Clarke, who is currently the company’s chief marketing and customer officer, will replace Martin Radvan, who is retiring. Radvan in 2016 oversaw the integration of Mars’ chocolate business, with brands like Snickers, M&M and Twix, with its Wrigley candy and gum business, forming Mars Wrigley Confectionery. Clarke takes over the new role in September.

Juan Tricarico was elected president elect for 2018-2019 at the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. Tricarico has been involved with CAST since 2014 as the board representative for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, where he’s the vice president of sustainability research. He also serves as the chair for the Animal Agriculture and Environmental Issues Work Group and lead for the Communications Strategic Plan Committee. Tricarico earned a doctorate in animal sciences at the University of Kentucky, where he currently holds an adjunct professor appointment in the Department of Animal and Food Science. Tricarico will officially assume his responsibilities as president-elect at the conclusion of CAST's fall board meeting in October.

President Trump has selected Daniel Simmons to be assistant secretary for energy, efficiency, and renewable energy at DOE. Simmons has served as the principal deputy assistant secretary in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. His nomination was sent to the Senate earlier this week. Prior to government service, Simmons served as a vice president at the Institute for Energy Research, a conservative think tank that supports fossil fuel use and opposes the Paris climate agreement. He also worked as professional staff on the House Natural Resources Committee.

Agriculture Secretary Perdue this week appointed 10 members to fill vacancies on the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board. New members appointed to serve three-year terms are: Brian P. Linney, Reston, Va. (Region 3); Joseph L. Carson, Martins Ferry, Ohio (Region 6); Gregory J. Schwarz, Cashton, Wis. (Region 8); Marissa H. Jarratt, Dallas (Region 9); Ann M. Ocana, Phoenix (Region 12); Richard L. Struble, San Marcos, Calif. (Region 15); Lewis R. Goldstein, La Farge, Wis. (at-large, processor); and Robert N. Barley, Conestoga, Pa. (at-large, general public). Members appointed to serve the remaining one-year portion of vacant appointments that expire June 30, 2019, are: Ralph H. Hallquist, Dallas (Region 4) and Rachel A. Kyllo, St. Paul, Minn. (at-large processor).

The Rodale Institute named Andrew Smith as Rodale’s chief scientist. Smith has been serving as research director for the institute’s Vegetable Systems Trial. That study will continue under his direction. Smith joined Rodale in 2015, the same week that he submitted his Ph.D. thesis. He earned the degree, from Drexel University, in environmental science with a concentration in molecular and population ecology.

RaboResearch Food and Agribusiness has added two new experts to its team of industry analysts. Mary Ledman is global sector strategist for dairy, and David Magaña is senior analyst for horticulture. Ledman has more than 30 years’ experience in production agriculture, food processing, agricultural policy, dairy risk management, and milk and dairy product price forecasting with organizations including USDA, Kraft Foods and the Daily Dairy Report. Prior to joining Rabobank, Magaña served as deputy director of economic research for FIRA – Banco de Mexico, an agricultural bank in Latin America.

Ralco, a Minnesota-based supplier of livestock nutrition and animal  health products, hired Dr. Bob Stock as its director of research and development for poultry science. The company says Stock has more than 30 years of experience working in the poultry and livestock industries.

The agricultural community is mourning the loss of Brent Gattis, who passed away Sunday. He was a true Southern gentleman who served as deputy staff director for the House Agriculture Committee from 1995 to 2005, then joined Olsson, Frank and Weeda as a senior policy advisor and started his own consulting firm in 2013. A friend described her fellow Texas A&M graduate as “one of the best Aggies I've ever known.”

John W. "Johnny Bill" Eggleston died June 15, at his home north of Memphis, Mo. He was 70. Eggleston was the first chairman of the Northeast Missouri Grain Processors Inc. As such, he played a leading role in bringing the first corn ethanol plant to his home state. The facility, in Macon, is now a Poet plant.

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