Danielle Quist, senior counsel for public policy at the American Farm Bureau Federation, this week moved to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) as senior director of regulatory affairs and in-house counsel. She replaces Emily Lyons, who moved to the Michael Best law firm in May as an associate in its transactional practice group, focusing her practice on regulatory matters for the firm’s agribusiness, food and beverage clients. At IDFA, Quist will handle not only legal issues but also regulatory, environmental, worker safety and specialized issues such as biotechnology ingredient labeling, reporting to Cary P. Frye, IDFA senior vice president for regulatory affairs.
Brian Thomsen, president of agribusiness at Bunge Limited, has announced plans to retire but will stay through the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition. Thomsen joined Bunge in 2004 and became head of its agribusiness segment in May 2014. He had been managing director of global grains and oilseeds . . . PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi will retire Oct. 3 after 24 years with the company and a dozen years in the top post. She’s to be succeeded by Ramon Laguarta, who’s been PepsiCo president since September 2017 and previously headed several different global divisions for the company. He joined PepsiCo from Chupa Chups, a confectionery company based in his native Spain.
Southern States Cooperative in Richmond, Va., promoted Steve Becraft to chief operating officer, a new position, and hired Sean Knapp to succeed Becraft as executive vice president of agronomy. Knapp recently held a commercial lead position with Compass Minerals, makers of plant nutrients, and earlier had positions in sales, marketing and strategy during 19 years with Syngenta Crop Protection.
Ryan Weston, CEO of the Florida Sugar Cane League and Washington representative of the Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers, became chairman of the American Sugar Alliance this week at its annual Sweeteners Symposium in Traverse City, Mich., replacing Luther Markwart, executive vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association. Weston is a former House Agriculture Committee staffer who was also president of the Agribusiness Club of Washington.
Ruthann Geib will retire as vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association at the end of this year, she announced this week. A native of Wooster, Ohio, she has worked for the national growers group for 36 years.
David Bracht, associate manager of USDA’s Federal Crop Insurance Corporation in the first Bush Administration, has resigned as Nebraska state director of energy to rejoin the Kutak Rock law firm in Omaha. Bracht has experience in agribusiness and renewable energy practice at two Midwestern law firms and was director of finance for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.
International Association of Agricultural Economists honored several members as honorary life members at its 30th international conference last week in Vancouver. They are Kym Anderson, George Gollin professor of economics at the University of Adelaide, Australia, who worked at the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, now the World Trade Organization, secretariat in Geneva in 1990-92 and at the World Bank in Washington in 2004; Shenggen Fan, director general of the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute since 2009; Alain de Janvry, professor of agricultural and resource economics and public policy at the University of California at Berkeley specializing in international economic development; Scott Rozelle, the Helen Farnsworth Endowed Professor at Stanford University and senior fellow and professor in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, who focuses on the economics of poverty with emphasis on education and health; Elisabeth Sadoulet, professor of agricultural and resource economics at California-Berkeley, an international development specialist; Gerald Shively, professor of agricultural economics at Purdue, who also served as associate department head and edited the journal Agricultural Economics from 2006 through 2015; and David Zilberman, professor and Robinson chair of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at California-Berkeley and president-elect of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
Jim Stitzlein, manager of market development for Consolidated Grain and Barge Co., was named chairman of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) at its 58th annual board of delegates meeting last week in Denver. He succeeds Deb Keller of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. Delegates also elected Jim Raben of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board as secretary-treasurer. USGC also gave its Lifetime Achievement Award to Clover Chang, director of its office in Taiwan, for 34 years of service upon his Aug. 10 retirement. He will be replaced in the Taipei office by Michael Lu. The council presented five-year service awards to Minnesota farmer Dwight Mork, USGC delegate from the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, and Nicholas Podhajsky, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation delegate to the USGC Board, for their work on foreign market development activities.
U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) has added Makiko Ochi to its Tokyo office staff as program assistant/accountant. Ms. Ochi replaces Sadako Ishida, who plans to retire in September after many years working with USW to promote U.S. wheat exports to Japan. Ms. Ochi was a manager at a large securities organization, said USW Japan Country Director Wataru Utsunomiya.
David Barksdale, managing member of Alluvian Capital, a privately held New Orleans company with investments in telecommunications and software, was elected to the board of Sanderson Farms in Laurel, Miss., the third largest U.S. chicken producer. He is the former CEO of Spread Networks, a wholesale telecommunications service provider.
The American Feed Industry Association presented Michael Bedford, research director for AB Vista in Marlborough, Wiltshire, England, the AFIA-Poultry Science Association (PSA) Nutrition Research Award last week at the PSA annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Bedford has led development of a revolutionary feed additive that combats anti-nutrient properties of phytate, which enables livestock to extract more phosphorus, protein and energy to improve efficiency and reduce pollution.
Justin Abdelkader, veteran left wing for the National Hockey League's Detroit Red Wings, joined a number of dairy industry entities in Michigan to donate $26,000 for fresh milk for seven food banks served by the Food Bank Council of Michigan. Michigan-area members of Dairy Farmers of America, the United Dairy Industry of Michigan and milk processor SpartanNash participated.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association last week recognized six regional honorees for its Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP). The regional finalists, announced during the 2018 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting in Denver, will compete for the national award to be announced during the Annual Cattle Industry Convention in New Orleans in February 2019. The six are Landuyt Land and Livestock in Walnut Grove, Minn., operated by George Landuyt and Mike Landuyt; Moes Feedlot, Watertown, S.D., operated by Bryan Moes and John Moes; Hahn Ranch, Townsend, Mont., run by third-generation owner Chuck Hahn and sons; Haleakala Ranch, Makawao, Maui, Hawaii, a family corporation with about 100 shareholders owned by the Baldwin family for six generations; Thunder View Farms, Grahamsville, N.Y., run by Phil Coombe and his brother Dick Coombe; and Birdwell and Clark Ranch, Henrietta, Texas, a 14,000-acre operation established in 2004 by husband and wife Emry Birdwell and Deborah Clark. Established in 1991, the award is sponsored by Corteva, the DowDuPont agriculture division; McDonald’s; USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Cattlemen’s Foundation.
Dr. Randy A. Hautea, a plant breeder and global coordinator of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agribiotech Application, died July 19 in the Philippines. A visiting scientist in agronomy and plant genetics at the University of Minnesota, Hautea dedicated his career to improving the lives of smallholder farmers, especially in developing nations, and was an advocate of using biotechnology to breed crops that can help smallholder farmers succeed.
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