Vicki Christiansen was sworn in last week as the 19th chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Christiansen, who joined USFS in 2010, had been serving as the interim chief since March when Tony Tooke resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Noting that Christiansen is a former wildland firefighter and fire manager, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, “Christiansen knows what’s needed to restore our forests and put them back to work for the taxpayers.”

Former CropLife America CEO Jay Vroom and his wife Jamie L. Vroom have organized a new business venture, Vroom Leigh Agriculture LLC, based in McLean, Va., specializing in strategic consulting services and investments in modern agriculture platforms and related technology sectors. Jay Vroom retired from CropLife America earlier this year after three decades as CEO of the organization that represents the U.S. crop protection industry. Jamie Vroom is a former staffer with the American Soybean Association

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers named Johan “Kip” Eideberg to lead its Washington office and advocacy activities as interim vice president, government and industry relations, effective Jan. 1. Eideberg, who currently serves as AEM’s vice president of public affairs, will replace Nick Yaksich, who is retiring from AEM at year’s end after 20 years with the Association.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue recently named two new members to the board of directors of the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center. Leo Tammi, a producer from Mount Sidney, Va., and Burton Pfliger, from Bismarck, N.D., an expert in finance and management, were both appointed to three-year terms. The seven-member board is charged with “ensuring the global competitiveness of America’s sheep industry,” said Perdue.

The agriculture secretary this week also appointed 16 members to three-year terms on the United Soybean Board. Perdue said their work is especially important these days “as we work to improve international opportunities for the nearly 90 million acres of soybeans produced by U.S. Farmers.” Click here to see a list of the new board members … Additionally, Perdue named 25 new members of the recently reestablished Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. The members will serve terms of up to two years ending in 2020. “This is a strong group representing a cross section of the fruit and vegetable industry,” said Perdue … The National Mango Board is also getting some new members. They are Clark Golden, an importer from New Jersey; N. Evelyn Sapp, a domestic producer from Florida; and Rodrigo Diaz, a producer from Mexico. The National Mango Board is composed of 18 members, including eight importers, two domestic producers, one first handler and seven foreign producers. Board members are nominated by their industry and appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. Members can serve up to two consecutive three-year terms.

Sally McKay has left the South Dakota Department of Agriculture where she has served as director of communications since last November. Her last day on the job was Oct. 11 … Brandon Honoré is no longer on the staff of Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., where he’d been working since August 2014. His most recent position was senior policy adviser. The Texas A&M grad says Jack Spasiano has taken his place.

Richard Sunderland has joined the agribusiness giant J.R. Simplot as vice president, supply chain, based at the company headquarters in Boise, Idaho. Sunderland previously served as vice president for Uriah’s Urban Farms. Prior to that, he worked for Koch and Koch-owned companies as general manager at Bunn Fertilizer Ltd. He also held senior leadership roles at Mosaic and Cargill.

Congratulations to Bethany Shively who’s been promoted to vice president of Strategic Communications at the American Seed Trade Association. The James Madison University alum has been serving as director of communications for the past three years.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation has chosen Greg Ibach, USDA’s undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs, as the winner of its Mansfield Award. The award honors the former U.S. senator and  ambassador to Japan Michael J. Mansfield, who helped form the foundation for U.S. trade relations throughout the world. The award will be presented Nov. 7 at the USMEF Strategic Planning Conference in Long Beach, Calif. At the conference, the federation will also honor Roel Andriessen with its Distinguished Service Award. Andriessen was actively involved in the organization for much of his career in the meat industry, which spanned nearly 40 years prior to his retirement from Tyson Fresh Meats, where he headed the international sales group.

The Land Trust Alliance is honoring Andy Bicking, director of public policy at Scenic Hudson in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., with its Ambassador Award for his advocacy on a broad range of land conservation and environmental issues. The Newtown Forest Association in Newtown, Conn., and the Shirley Heinze Land Trust of Valparaiso, Ind., are winners of  National Land Trust Excellence Awards; and Montana Land Reliance of Helena, Mont., won President’s Awards. Honorees were recognized at the Rally 2018 National Land Conference last week in Pittsburgh.

Dan Martin has returned to IFCO as president of IFCO North America. IFCO bills itself as the world’s leading supplier of reusable plastic containers for fresh food packaging. Martin has served in senior leadership roles in the packaging, supply chain and logistics sector for more than two decades, most recently with CHEP USA. Before that he served as a general manager and sales leader at IFCO.

For more news, go to: