Joe Tvrdy is leaving the staff of Rep. Vicky Hartzler for USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service where he’ll serve as director of intergovernmental and external affairs with the Food and Nutrition Service. Tvrdy has been working for Hartzler since March 2012, most recently as legislative director. Taking his place will be Carley Esser, a University of Missouri grad who’s been serving as global strategies coordinator for the U.S. Grains Council.

Adrienne Wojciechowski is a new minority professional staff member with the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. Since 2007, she’s been working on the staff of Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who is vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has promoted Becky Cole to deputy staff director. Cole has served as the committee’s policy director since May. She previously served as chief economist for the Senate Budget Committee under Chairman Mike Enzi of Wyoming. Hatch also announced a new lineup for his communications team. Nicole Hager is taking on a new role as the committee’s acting communications director, replacing Katie Rosborough, who is leaving the panel, and Brigid Ueland is being promoted to deputy press secretary. Additionally, Hatch said Joshua Blume has been promoted to senior counsel. Blume has worked for the Finance Committee as a professional staff member for nearly three years.

The board of directors of the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation selected Brad Nordholm as its next president and CEO. He starts in the new position on Oct. 15. Lowell Junkins, who has served as Farmer Mac’s acting president and CEO since last December, will continue as board chairman, a role he has held since 2010. Nordholm joins Farmer Mac from Starwood Energy Group Global LLC, a private investment firm specializing in energy infrastructure, where he served as the company’s first CEO from 2006 to 2016 and most recently as vice chairman. Farmer Mac is the nation’s largest secondary market for agricultural real estate mortgages.

The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts has a new vice president of government relations. He’s John Jones, who has served as chief of staff to Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., since February 2014. He also previously worked for Sen. Chuck Schumer before Schumer became minority leader.

Fred Wong has left his post as communications director with the National Association of Counties. Wong, who’d been with NACo since December 2017, has decided to pursue other opportunities, a NACo spokesman said.

Jacob Peterson is settling into his new job as manager for state engagement with the National Propane Gas Association. He previously was a senior legislative assistant for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

Scott Bennett, who handled ag issues as legislative director for Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is headed to the American Farm Bureau Federation to be the director of congressional relations. He’s starting at AFBF next week. He previously worked as a lobbyist for the Keys Group LLC.

Bayer appointed Sebastian Guth as president of pharmaceuticals for the Americas region, which includes the U.S., Canada and Central and Latin America. He starts the new job Dec. 1. Guth has served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Bayer's global Pharmaceuticals business since October 2015.

Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton has made two staff appointments aimed at supporting the creation and expansion of agribusiness opportunities in the Volunteer State.  Kyle Hensley is the new agribusiness development coordinator and Greer Gill is the agribusiness development consultant for food business growth. Hensley most recently worked for the University of Tennessee Herbert College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources as a program coordinator for recruitment. Gill joined Tennessee Department of Agriculture in 2016 as a marketing consultant.

Edge Dairy Farm Cooperative has a new member services representative. She’s Julie Veldhuis, who has owned and operated a dairy farm for 20 years. She also has extensive experience in dairy promotion, having served on the board of directors of United Dairymen of Idaho, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board.

Deere & Company is announcing some big changes in its leadership team, sparked by the planned retirement on Nov. 15 of Max Guinn, who is currently president of Deere’s Worldwide Construction and Forestry Division. Taking his place will be James Field, president of the company’s Agriculture and Turf Division. Some other appointments: John C. May to president, Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division - Global Harvesting and Turf Platforms, Ag Solutions, Americas and Australia; Mark von Pentz to president, Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division, Global Tractor and Hay & Forage Platforms, Europe, CIS, Asia, Africa; and Raj Kalathur, to senior vice president, chief financial officer and chief information officer.

CORRECTION: In last week’s newsletter we misspelled the last name of New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte, who has been elected president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. We apologize for the error.

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