Juli Obudzinski has been named interim policy director at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. She previously served as deputy policy director. Obudzinski is taking the place of Greg Fogel, who left NSAC in October after nearly a decade with the organization. NSAC also has added two new members to its policy staff. Nichelle Harriott joins the organization from Beyond Pesticides, where she was science and regulatory director. Another new policy specialist, Kelly Nuckolls, had been working at the University of Maryland as a legal specialist, helping farmers manage legal risks and understand federal and state laws and their impact on operations.
Jim Hershey has retired as executive director of the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) but he just can’t stop promoting soybeans. He’s moving to Phnom Penh shortly to run a newly launched USDA Food for Progress-funded Council for Agricultural Science project in Cambodia. Hershey says he’s aiming to “build a vibrant aquaculture value chain in Cambodia” (with soybeans as fish feed) while expanding agricultural trade for soy, including from the U.S. Liz Hare, meanwhile, has taken the reins as WISHH executive director. Hare joined WISHH in 2011 and has held multiple positions within the organization, including program manager of the FEEDing Pakistan aquaculture program, director of the Latin America division, and most recently, deputy director. WISHH is a program operated by the American Soybean Association.
Elanco Animal health named Todd Young as the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. Lucas Montarce, who’s been serving as acting CFO, will return to Eli Lilly and Co. as vice president and CFO of Lilly’s International Business Unit. Most recently, Young was executive VP and CFO for ACADIA Pharmaceuticals in San Diego.
The Illinois Soybean Association hired Megan Miller for the newly created position of Ag innovations and technology transfer manager, where she’ll be handling state, regional and national project coordination, farm enterprise profitability programs and emerging technology adoption. Miller was most recently a small grains Extension associate at North Carolina State University.
Ken Blemings will assume the position of interim dean of West Virginia University’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design in early 2019 when the current dean, Dan Robison, steps aside. Blemings is now the dean of WVU’s Honors College. His interim appointment will extend through the 2019-2020 academic year. Robison was recently appointed dean of Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Iowa Agricultural and Home Economics Experiment Station.
Chem China this week added two directors to the board of Syngenta. Paul Fribourg, chairman and CEO of Continental Grain Co., will be a non-executive director, and Erik Fyrwald, Syngenta’s CEO, is joining the board as an executive director. Syngenta’s board now comprises six ChemChina appointed directors and four Independent directors. ChemChina completed its $43 billion takeover of the Switzerland-based chemical and seed giant earlier this year.
Bunge Ltd. named Christos Dimopoulos president for agribusiness, following the retirement of Brian Thomsen, who had held the position since 2014. Dimopoulos joined Bunge in 2004 and most recently served as senior vice president, global grains and oilseeds.
President Trump is tapping the chairman emeritus of J.M. Smucker Co. to serve a four-year term on the USTR’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Timothy Smucker is a great-grandson of the founder of the $8 billion food and beverage company with brands including Smucker’s, Jif, Crisco and Milk Bone dog biscuits.
Dick Isaacson, founder and owner of Agri-Management Services, in Marion, Iowa, is the winner of the 2018 Professional Farm Manager of the Year Award. The award, co-sponsored by Syngenta, Farm Journal’s AgPro magazine and the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), recognizes farm managers who display excellence in client service and a commitment to agriculture. Isaacson opened Agri-Management Services in 1990 and the company now serves more than 50 clients across six states. Isaacson has also served as director, vice president and president of ASFMRA’s Iowa chapter as well as the Iowa Chapter Foundation.
Pete Atkins, of Tea, S.D., is the new president of the American Hereford Association, and Joel Birdwell, of Kingfisher, Okla., is the new vice president for 2019. The officers were announced during AHA’s recent annual meeting in Kansas City, Mo. Delegates also elected three new directors: Craig Beran, of Claflin, Kan.; Bruce Everhart, Waldron, Ind.; and Andrew Matheny, Mays Lick, Ky. They’ll be serving four-year terms on the 12-member board.
Dairy giant Borden promoted Eric Downum to vice president of financial planning and analysis. He’s been serving as director of FP&A for the past two years. Downum joined Borden in December 2016 after working in a variety of leadership roles for PepsiCo and Frito-Lay for 13 years.
Plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat added Coca-Cola CFO Kathy Waller and Twitter CFO Ned Segal to its board of directors. That’s according to Axios, which noted that the company – valued at $500 million last year by venture capitalists – reportedly is prepping for an IPO and that a pair of public company CFOs could help speed up the process. Beyond Meat did not respond to an e-mail request for comment.
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