Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey named former GOP senator Jon Kyl to fill the state’s U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of John McCain. Kyl served with McCain in the Senate from 1995 to 2013, when he retired at the end of his third term. He had previously served as a member of the U.S. House from Arizona from 1987 to 1995.  At a press conference accepting the appointment, Kyl said he would serve at least until the end of the 115th Congress, and that he would not seek election in the 2020 special election. With Kyl replacing McCain, Senate Republicans will hold on to their 51-seat majority for tough votes this fall. Like McCain, Kyl tended to support farm bill reform amendments when he was in the Senate. The last time he had a chance to vote on a farm bill, in 2012, he voted against the Senate version of the legislation, but retired before getting a chance to vote on the final bill. During that year’s debate, he voted for reforms to the sugar program and for an amendment that would have cut crop insurance premium subsidies for high-income farmers. In 2008, Kyl was one of only 15 senators to vote against the final version of that year’s farm bill, and he also voted against the 2002 version.

President Trump is nominating Jay Angle, a former dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia, to be director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Angle also spent 24 years as a professor of soil science and administrator for the Maryland Agricultural Experimental Station and the Maryland Cooperative Extension at the University of Maryland. Most recently, the former Fulbright Fellow was the president and CEO of the International Fertilizer Development Center … The president is also tapping Alexandra Dapolito Dunn of Virginia to be the EPA’s assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention and Raymond David Vela of Texas to be director of the National Park Service. Dunn currently serves as administrator for the EPA’s Region 1 in Boston. Vela, a 28-year career veteran of the National Park Service, is the superintendent of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway.

Jessica Schulken, a veteran of two decades with the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, is the newest member of The Russell Group. Schulken was named to the subcommittee’s top post in 2012 as clerk. In addition to program funding, she worked with each Senate Democratic office on their appropriations priorities for the FDA and the USDA. “She has the mettle that comes with putting together multibillion-dollar budgets while at the same time dealing with some of the most vexing policy questions for the USDA and the FDA,” said Randy Russell, the lobbying firm’s president.

The World Food Prize Foundation named USDA researcher Matthew Rouse as the winner of the 2018 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application. Rouse is a research plant pathologist at the Agricultural Research Service’s Cereal Disease Lab in St. Paul and an adjunct associate professor at the University of Minnesota. His work, which aims to prevent cereal yield losses, focuses on wheat and barley resistance to stem rust and physiologic specialization of the barley leaf rust pathogen in the United States. The winner was announced at the Sustainable Development Goals Conference at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize, called the award “the premier recognition in the world for young agricultural scientists under the age of 40.”

Katherine Lugar, the chief executive of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, will be joining the American Beverage Association later this year as its new president and CEO. She’ll be succeeding Susan Neely, who has led ABA for 13 years. Neely was named president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers in May. The American Beverage Association represents the non-alcoholic beverage industry.

Gordon Speirs, a dairy farmer from Brillion, Wis., is the newest member of the board of directors of Edge Dairy Cooperative. He was selected to fill the vacant board seat held by the late John Pagel. Spiers, the owner of Shiloh Dairy LLC, has been an active member of Edge, serving on its Committee on Political Affairs and going to Washington to lobby lawmakers on issues such as environmental regulations, trade, milk labeling and a sustainable workforce. 

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology has three new board members. Jamie Eichorn, head of Seedcare North America Syngenta, will serve on the CAST Board of Trustees. Nandini Mendu, with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, and Amy Ferriter, with Crop Production Services, representing the Aquatic Plant Management Society, will both serve on the CAST Board of Representatives.

Bryan Shaw, the chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality retired at the end of August after 10 years at the agency. Shaw was appointed to the TCEQ by then-Gov. Rick Perry on Nov. 1, 2007, and appointed chairman on Sept. 10, 2009.

Brazil-based Marfrig Global Foods named Eduardo Miron as its new CEO, replacing Martin Secco, who led the world’s second-largest beef company since 2015. Miron joined Marfrig in 2010 and, since 2016, has been the chief financial and investor relations officer while also serving as the chief financial officer of Keystone Foods in the U.S. Before joining Marfrig, he worked for 10 years at Grupo Safra and for more than two decades at U.S.-based Cargill, where he held leadership positions in Brazil and the United States. Another Brazilian company, JBS S.A. is the largest meat company in the world, by sales.

Blaine Collison has joined Washington-based strategic advisory firm David Gardiner and Associates as senior vice president. Collison previously served as managing director of marketing and partnerships at Altenex, which is now Edison Energy, and also directed EPA's Green Power Partnership.

Ontario-based A&L Canada Laboratories hired Nevin McDougall as its president and chief commercial officer. A&L is a provider of agricultural services and technologies.  McDougall brings more than a quarter century of experience across the ag sector. He has held senior executive roles with leading companies such as BASF and La Coop fédérée in Canadian, U.S. and international markets. 

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