Krysta Harden has left her position as senior vice president and chief sustainability officer for Corteva Agriscience, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, Agri-Pulse has learned from an internal company document. Dana Bolden, chief communications officer, will step in to lead the external affairs team on an interim basis. Prior to moving to Corteva, Harden served as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture at USDA and Chief of Staff for Secretary Tom Vilsack during the Obama Administration. Prior to that, she served as CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts and as senior vice president at Gordley Associates. 

President Donald Trump nominated Kelly Knight Craft, the current U.S. ambassador to Canada, as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Craft is Trump’s second pick for the nomination. His first pick was Heather Nauert, who served as the state department spokeswoman. Pending Senate confirmation, Craft would succeed Nikki Haley, who left the U.N. position in late 2018.

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) hired Nick Goeser as vice president of sustainability sciences and strategy. Most recently Goeser served as vice president of production and sustainability at the National Corn Growers Association, where he created and led the Soil Health Partnership. Goeser has been hired by USFRA to oversee the Science to Sense Making program, which works to show how science and sustainability programming from farmers and ranchers is ensuring the sustainable future of our food systems. 

House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Rob Bishop, R-Utah, has announced new appointments and reappointments of Republican senior staff for the 116th Congress. Moving from deputy staff director to staff director for the minority is Parish Braden... Lisa Pittman continues to serve as chief counsel, a position she has held since 2000. Kristina Baum has been reappointed as communications directorServing as the Republican staff director for the subcommittee on indigenous peoples of the United States is Chris Fluhr, and serving as staff director for the subcommittee on oversight and investigations is Sang Yi. William Ball continues to serve as staff director for the water, oceans, and wildlife subcommittee, and Andrew Vecera is the staff director for the subcommittee on energy and mineral resources. Steve Petersen was also reappointed to serve as staff director for the subcommittee on national parks, forests, and public lands. Lastly, Tanner Hanson will serve as senior adviser to the full committee....Austin Hacker was appointed as deputy press secretary. Hanson previously served as policy director for the Western Caucus, and Hacker served as a legislative clerk on the subcommittee on energy and mineral resources. 

Teresa Skala and Mary Horner joined the Anheuser-Busch government affairs team. Skala has been hired as senior manager of government affairs after previously working at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as the mid-Atlantic finance director and candidate fundraising adviser. Horner will serve as government affairs coordinator. She most recently worked as a staff and press assistant for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio.

NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association announced changes to its leadership team. April Irwin will begin a new role as vice president of member engagement, effective March 1, after serving as director of member engagement. Current director of human resources Jennifer Jushchuk is promoted to vice president of technology, talent and consulting services, and current communications director Laura Withers advances to vice president of strategic communications. Lori Fischetti transitions into a new role as vice president of member experience. Irwin, Jushchuk and Withers join the existing executive team, and Fischetti will report to Irwin.

The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS), the philanthropic arm of NTCA, receives new leadership under vice president of legal Jill Canfield. Brian Ford, senior regulatory counsel, has also been named director of industry affairs.

The National Wildlife Federation brings on Mustafa Santiago Ali as its new vice president for environmental justice, climate and community revitalization. Ali recently served as senior vice president of climate, environmental justice and community revitalization for the Hip Hop Caucus and served 24 years at the Environmental Protection Agency where he helped found and lead the office of environmental justice.

Christian Palich is the new vice president of government and public affairs for Siekman, Siekman & Associates. Palich most recently served a year and a half as deputy associate administrator in the office of congressional and intergovernmental relations at EPA.

Former senior counsel and associate administrator for policy at EPA Samantha Dravis has been hired as senior vice president for Clout Public Affairs, a division of Axiom Strategies. Dravis worked under former Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Valent U.S.A. appoints Dion McBay as vice president of sales. McBay steps in to fill the position of Rick Kraus, who began a new role as national sales director of integrated farms and land management for Valent. Prior to joining Valent U.S.A., McBay served 24 years at Monsanto, most recently leading the company’s global sustainability development team.

Congressman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., hired Patrick Bond as his new communications director. Prior to taking this position, Bond was a legislative correspondent for Alabama Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt. He also served on the staff of Alabama governors Robert Bentley and Kay Ivey.

Former senior adviser to the Senate Majority PAC Alex Katz joins the Blackstone Group as vice president of government affairs. Katz previously worked for Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., for three years and was a policy and communications associate in the office of the mayor in New York City.

Tyson Foods group president for prepared foods, Sally Grimes, announced she is stepping down from her role to spend more time with her family. She will stay on as president until later this year when her successor is named and a transition period can occur. Grimes joined Tyson Foods with the Hillshire Brands acquisitions in 2014, when she was appointed as chief global growth officer and later elevated to president of the retail division in 2017.

Sarah Hubbart is leaving the East Coast to head home to the West Coast. A director for Michael Torrey Associates, Hubbart's last day with the Torrey team is Thursday. Hubbart previously was communications director for the Animal Agriculture Alliance.

Recombinetics announced that Mark Platt will replace outgoing CEO Tammy Lee, who is taking a leave of absence from the company. Platt most recently served as executive sales leader at the Midwest sales office for Trane Inc. He also served as the senior vice president of business services for Gundersen Health System and was president and CEO of Multistack LLC in Sparta, Wis.

Mary Coppola has been promoted to vice president of marketing and communications at The United Fresh Produce Association. Coppola has been with United Fresh since 2014, when she was brought on as senior director of marketing and communications. She also took on the role of staff liaison to the association’s Produce Marketing & Merchandising Council. Coppola previously worked at Healthcare Distribution Alliance for six years, serving as director of marketing and creative services.

The Governors’ Biofuels Coalition announced the additions of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to serve on the 2019 leadership team. Walz has been elected to serve as chair of the coalition, taking over responsibilities from outgoing chair, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. Noem will serve as vice chair during the 2019 year and will help provide regional and national leadership on biofuels policy.

Governor JB Pritzker appoints Colleen Callahan to be the director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Callahan served as the Illinois state director of rural development for the USDA during President Barack Obama’s administration. Prior to that, she worked as an agricultural broadcaster at WMBD in Peoria, Ill., for over 30 years. She also was the first female president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting......Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced Jeff Kaisand as the new state veterinarian within the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Kaisand served as assistant state veterinarian for six years and has been the acting state veterinarian since David Schmitt’s retirement in January 2019.

Debbie Reed has been selected as the executive director of the newly formed Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC). Ten private-sector companies and nonprofit organizations announced their plan to join together to create ESMC, which builds on the earlier formed Ecosystem Services Market Program (ESMP), working to develop resources and information to establish a successful ecosystems market. Reed is currently the president of DRD Associates LLC and has focused on greenhouse gas mitigation and ecosystem services from the agricultural sector since 1997. She previously worked as director of legislative affairs and agricultural policy at the federal Council on Environmental Quality and as a senior staffer for former Sen. Robert Kerrey, D-Neb. Prior to her time on the Hill, she held many leadership positions at USDA .ESMC's Founding Circle is comprised of ADM, Bunge, Cargill, General Mills, Indigo Agriculture, McDonald's USA, Noble Research Institute, LLC, Soil Health Institute and The Nature Conservancy

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) announced the names of almost 100 dairy executives who have been chosen to serve as directors on the association’s five newly formed industry segment boards, which will launch in March. Each industry segment board will conduct business in coordination with the IDFA executive council and will enhance communication and policy efforts at the member level. Jeffrey Kaneb will chair the fluid milk board with vice chair Ed Mullins. Kaneb is the executive vice president at HP Hood LLC. Mullins serves as executive vice president and CEO at Prairie Farms Dairy Inc. The ice cream board is being spearheaded by chair Mike Wells with Wells Enterprises Inc. Wells serves as president and CEO for the company. He will also tag-team the board with vice chair Rich Draper, CEO of The Ice Cream Club Inc. The cheese board is chaired by Louie Gentine, who is CEO of Sargento Foods Inc., and the vice chair is Doug Simon, who is president of Agropur U.S. Operations. Chairing the yogurt and cultured products board is Philippe Caradec, who also serves as vice president of public affairs and sustainable development at Danone North America. The yogurt and cultured products board will be chaired by Tim Walls with Schreiber Foods. Walls is the executive vice president of Schreiber U.S. Lastly, the ingredients board is chaired by Andrei Mikhalevsky who is the president and CEO of California Dairies Inc. The board’s vice chair is Terry Brockman, resident and COO of Saputo Cheese USA Inc. To see the other individuals named to each board, please click on the links above.

The American Agri-Women elected two new officers to its executive committee. Hailing from a fifth-generation farm in the state of Kansas, Lesley Schmidt was elected to a two-year term as vice president of education, while Iowan Natalina Sents was elected to serve a two-year term as secretary. Schmidt raises crops and livestock with her family and is also a civil designer, cartographer and permitting specialist for MKEC Engineering Inc. Sents, who joined Successful Farming as digital content editor in 2017, has served as interim secretary since February 2018.

Asa Bradman will be honored by The Organic Center with the award of excellence at the organization’s annual benefit dinner on March 6. Bradman cofounded the Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health (CERCH) and has co-authored reports that studied the impacts of pesticides on the health of pregnant women and children in agricultural communities.

Chairman and advertising spokesman for Perdue Farms, Jim Perdue, was inducted into the American Poultry Historical Society’s Poultry Industry Hall of Fame. Perdue is a third-generation leader to Perdue Farms, founded in 1920. Perdue’s father, Frank Perdue, was inducted in 1995, which makes them the only father and son to receive the honor.

Mark Denman will retire as vice president from Riviana Foods Specialty Brands this Thursday. Denman has been in the rice business for 39 years, starting his career with Riceland Foods in 1976 as a territory manager of retail sales. In 1982, Denman joined Anderson Clayton Foods in Dallas and in 1985 he started working for Farms of Texas, which later became RiceTec, as their sales and marketing manager. He has been with Riviana since 2015 when the company purchased RiceTec's retail business.

After 47 years of service, the Louisiana Farm Bureau's assistant to the president, James “Jim” Monroe, announced his retirement. Monroe grew up on a cotton, soybean and cattle farm in rural Louisiana. He was first hired by the Louisiana Farm Bureau in 1972 to serve as assistant commodity director and four years later became commodity director. In 1983 he became assistant to the president. Kyle McCann will take on the role of assistant to the president after Monroe’s retirement on April 30. 

Former accountant and bookkeeper for the National Chicken Council (NCC), Thelma Killen Colantuoni, passed away at the age 85. Colantuoni worked for the NCC for over 30 years.

Former journalist and vice president of communications for USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, Toby Moore, passed away at the age of 68. Moore fought a battle with colon cancer, which he was diagnosed with back in 2010. Moore started his career as a local newspaper journalist for two Georgia towns, then worked in public relations for GoldKist, and was with the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council for over 20 years. Moore served in active duty for the U.S. Navy and was deployed in Desert Storm and Bosnia. He had a number of high-profile assignments including a media tour to Iraq during the 48th deployment in 2005.

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