Ruth Dyk Saunders is settling into her new job as agriculture branch chief in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Dyk Saunders is no stranger to OMB – she was senior examiner there from 1992-2006. Dyk Saunders, who holds a master’s degree in ag economics from Cornell, also served as vice president of the International Dairy Foods Association for more than a decade and most recently was a senior research fellow at the George Washington University Food Institute.

Jennifer Tucker was promoted to deputy administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service’s  National Organic Program. Tucker has served as associate deputy administrator of the program since 2011. Before joining USDA, she served as a group facilitator and organization development consultant, working primarily with scientific and technical government and non-profit organizations.

John Hendel has joined the American Farm Bureau Federation as the director of event sales, working out of AFBF’s office in Eagan, Minn. Hendel, a University of Minnesota-Mankato alumnus, has more than 25 years’ experience in sales, marketing, sponsorships, and event management, working at Meister Media Worldwide, VerticalXchange and Cygnus Business Media.

The Farm Credit Administration appointed Dennis Shields to serve as associate director of its Agricultural and Economic Policy Team and as FCA’s chief economist. He succeeds Steve Gabriel, who retired today after 34 years of federal service. Shields has been with FCA since 2015, serving as senior economist in the Office of Regulatory Policy. He received FCA’s Impact Award in 2016 for his contributions to the agency’s mission. Before joining FCA, Shields held agricultural policy and economist positions at the Congressional Research Service, USDA’s Farm Service Agency, and the department’s Economic Research Service.

The American Feed Industry Association and the American Dairy Science Association are honoring two individuals for their “significant contributions in animal science and nutrition.” Ian Lean, the founder and managing director of Scibus, an Australian animal science and consulting firm, received the Nutrition Research Award, and Ronald Horst, the cofounder of Heartland Assays and GlycoMyr, two companies that focus on developing products that alleviate vitamin D and calcium deficiencies, received the New Frontiers in Animal Nutrition Award. Horst also served as a research scientist for USDA’s National Animal Disease Center and as a professor in Iowa State University’s Department of Animal Science from 1978 through his retirement in 2006. The awards were presented last week at the American Dairy Science Association’s annual meeting in Knoxville, Tenn.

Sophie Kornowski, executive vice president of Switzerland-based Roche Partnering, was elected to the Syngenta board of directors at the company’s recent general shareholders meeting. Before joining Roche in 2007,  Kornowski, a French citizen, held management positions at Merck Sharp & Dohme, Sanofi Winthrop and Abbott Diagnostics and Abbott Pharmaceutical Products. Later this year, Kornowski will be joining a major healthcare investment fund headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., as its senior partner. Meanwhile, Eveline Saupper has stepped down as an independent director. She’d been a member of Syngenta’s board since 2013.

Ron Bader, the founder of the Bader Rutter advertising and agrimarketing agency, died June 25 in a single-car crash near his home in New Glarus, Wis. He was 86. Bader opened his own Milwaukee advertising agency in 1974. Greg Nickerson, the chairman of Bader Rutter, said that under Bader’s leadership the agency grew to become the largest marketing and advertising agency in Wisconsin and the biggest agrimarketing agency in the country. Bader retired in late 2008 when ownership shifted to the second generation. Bader was inducted into the Wisconsin Advertising Hall of Fame in 2013, 60 years after beginning his career at Amana Refrigeration in Iowa.

Ralph Paige, who led the Federation of Southern Cooperatives during a long battle that resulted in a landmark settlement of a discrimination suit against USDA, has passed away. Paige joined the Federation in 1969 as a grassroots organizer, became its executive director in 1985 and retired in 2015. In 2004, Paige was inducted to the Cooperative Hall of Fame. A profile released alongside Paige’s induction indicated that, under his leadership, the Federation withstood scarce resources, racism and organized resistance to champion cooperatives and empower black and low-income family farmers in the rural South. 

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