Gregory Hanes is set to become the new CEO of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board (CBB), effective June 17. Hanes comes to CBB from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) where served as the liaison to the beef industry and led the marketing team through global strategic planning processes. From 2006-2009, he served as director of the USMEF’s Tokyo office and lived in Japan for 11 years. Currently, he serves as the chair of the U.S. Agricultural Export Development Council, representing the interests of growers and processors of U.S. agricultural products for nearly 80 different national and state trade associations and farmer cooperatives. 

Riley Pagett

Riley Pagett

Riley Pagett has moved from the National FFA Organization to begin a new role with the USDA, as the new chief of staff in the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. During his time with FFA, Pagett served as the director of advocacy and government relations. National FFA has not yet named his replacement.

Growers Edge Financial Inc. appoints Dan Cosgrove as its new chief strategy officer. Cosgrove brings over 20 years of experience to Growers Edge, previously serving as the global leader of corporate development and licensing at Corteva Agriscience. During his time with DuPont Pioneer, now a part of Corteva Agriscience, Cosgrove served as vice president of business development and the chief patent counsel. Kicking off his career, he worked as a lawyer focusing on patent litigation and was a partner in a law firm.

FMC Corporation announced Christina Coen will take over as the U.S. commercial director after the retirement of John Kasper in June. Coen currently serves as the North American marketing director, a position she's held since 2017, and has lead marketing for FMC’s portfolio of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, plant health and technology products. She came to FMC from The Dow Chemical Company where she served as the North America crop protection project success leader. Kasper has been in the role of commercial director since 2009. The last 15 years of his career have been directly related to sales, marketing, and business development for agriculture products. Coen will assume his role effective May 1. 

Midwestern BioAg has selected Kevin Kimm to serve as its new CEO. Kimm is the former vice president of international distribution and new product development at The Mosaic Company. He has over 25 years of sales, marketing and product development experience and previously worked for Syngenta as the vice president of dealer channel and Novartis as director of sales. Anthony Michaels, who’s served as Midwestern BioAg’s CEO since 2014 will continue to be involved to help support Kimm, but will be leading new efforts in organic farming.

Kevin Kimm

Kevin Kimm

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Ala. added three to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee staff. Returning to the committee as a senior professional staff member is Tristan Abbey. He most recently served as the director at the National Security Council and before that served on the Department of Energy’s transition team. Also coming to the committee as a professional staff member is Nick Matiella. He focuses primarily on wildland fire, forest management and grazing policy issues. He previously served as a legislative assistant to the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for more than 10 years working on natural resources and Native American issues. Joining the committee as a detailee from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is Stephanie Miller. She most recently served as an adviser to the BLM director.

Caleb Crosswhite has moved on from the House Agriculture Committee to begin a new role at USDA, serving as the senior adviser and counsel to the Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach. On the House Ag Committee, he served as deputy chief counsel and professional staff member for Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas.

Lynn Wylie has been named senior director of industry affairs of the National Confectioners Association. Prior to NCA, Wylie served as the director of business development for The Popcorn Factory and vice president of sales and marketing for the Maxfield Candy Company.

Christopher Valadez has been appointed to serve as the new president of the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California. He succeeds Jim Bogart, who has been with the Grower-Shipper Association for over 21 years and is its longest serving president. Valadez brings 11 years of work from the California Fresh Fruit Association where he most recently served as the director of environmental and regulatory affairs. Before that he spent four years focusing on federal policy related to immigration and water policy, by serving as deputy district director for former Congressman George Radanovich.

Christopher Valadez

Christopher Valadez

The American Council on Renewable Energy has tapped Bill Parsons, former chief of staff and legislative director to Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., as its new COO. ACORE also named Alex Hobson as its new vice president of communications. Hobson recently served as director of external communications for Solar Energy Industries Association. 

The American Agriculture Movement has appointed Crystal Carson as the new executive vice president. Carson is a third-generation AAM member and was an agriculture education teacher before she left to return home to the family farm and business.

The American Farm Bureau Federation is welcoming two new additions and an internal promotion. Marsha Bernard will serve as executive assistant to president Zippy Duvall and executive vice president Dale Moore. Before joining AFBF, she worked for the National School Boards Association. She replaces Emily Jordan, who left AFBF to join the Lincoln Policy Group as director of operations. Michael Sistak joins the AFBF team as the new director of grassroots program development on the advocacy and political affairs team. Sistak comes from Phoenix, Ariz., where he served as senior director of government relations at the Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board. Prior to that, he worked for the University of Arizona’s Office of Government and Community Relations and also worked on former Sen. John McCain’s 2010 senate re-election campaign and Mitt Romney’s 2012 run for president. AFBF also promoted Paul Schlegel from managing director of public policy to vice president of public affairs.

The American Feed Industry Association promoted John Stewart from manager of government relations to the newly-created role of director of membership and stakeholder engagement. Prior to joining AFIA, Stewart served as a staff assistant to Rep. David Rouzer, R-N.C. and also worked with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and Elanco Animal Health.

Louise Fresco will join the Syngenta board of directors as an independent non-executive director. Currently serving as president of Wageningen University & Research in The Netherlands, Fresco focuses on policy and development in Africa, Asia, and Latin American countries. She’s spent 10 years of her career as assistant director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.

U.S. Gold Corp. appointed Ryan Zinke to its board of directors. Zinke, a retired Navy Seal and former member of Congress, served as Secretary of the Interior before resigning in December.

Bill Parsons

Bill Parsons

SNAC International installs new officers and directors for the 2019-2020 year. The executive committee’s new chairman is Fritz Kohmann, who currently serves as the CFO of Shearer's Foods. The vice chairman is Rob Sarlls, who serves as president and CEO of Wyandot Inc. To see the full list of executive committee members and new directors-at-large click here.

Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., has two legislative assistants and a new chief of staff. Alex Beckmann joins Lipinski’s staff covering agriculture and food, animals, and transportation issues and Caitlyn McGuire will cover the energy, environment protection, and science and technology portfolios. Brian Oszakiewski, who previously served as Lipinski's district chief of staff, will assume COS duties in the Washington office. Lipinski’s previous chief of staff, Eric Lausten has left the office to become a principal at Husch Blackwell Strategies. 

Jordan Bonfitto has transitioned back to the White House from USDA as the policy adviser covering the agriculture portfolio for the National Economic Council, working under NEC director Larry Kudlow. Bonfitto was assigned to USDA in March of 2018 and served as the associate director for external and intergovernmental affairs. 

Lauren Wolman joins Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s, D-Fla., staff as her new legislative director. She comes from the office of Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., where she served as legislative director and deputy chief of staff.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, hired Colin Timmerman as a new staff assistant. Timmerman previously worked in the office of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., as a legislative correspondent.

David Schutt is the new agriculture and natural resources legislative assistant for Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif. He previously worked in the office of Rep. Mike Capuano, D-Mass., and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.

John Lynch has joined the staff of California Democrat TJ Cox to spearhead issues related to water resources and quality in California’s Central Valley. Lynch previously worked for Sen. Dianne Feinstein covering her water quality portfolio.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., promoted Mindi Linquist from state director to her new chief of staff. She succeeds Mike Spahn, who has moved to Precision Strategies. … Murray also brought Helen Hare over from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to join her personal staff as her new communications director.

Louise Fresco

Louise Fresco, Photo courtesy of Jeroen Hofman

Patrick Konrath has been promoted to legislative aide and correspondent for Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Wis. He previously served as deputy press secretary.

Kelle Long is the new senior communications adviser for Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, on the Senate Republican Conference. She most recently worked for Motion Picture Association of America Inc.

Matt Fried has left the office of Rep. Josh Gottheimer. He served as the communications director. James Adams will step in to take over this position after previously serving as an aide to Gottheimer. … Zach Eckstein is settling in on Gottheimer’s staff as the new legislative assistant covering agriculture and food, energy, science and technology, and small business issues.

Drew Griffin was promoted from communications director to chief of staff for Rep. Bob Latta, R-Ohio. He replaces Allison Witt Poulios, who moved back to Ohio to become the director of state government relations at The MetroHealth System.

Alana Lomis is the new scheduler for Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D. She succeeds Carly Reedholm.

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., promoted Ty Bofferding to communications director from press secretary. Bofferding has been in Cassidy’s office since May 2016.

Jacy Spencer has left the state office for Congressman Adrian Smith, R-Neb. She served as the agriculture community liaison since June 2018 and has now accepted a new job as the ag promotion coordinator for the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Carolyn Just joins NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association as the new PR manager. She will oversee media and PR strategies for NTCA and is currently working towards her master’s degree from American University. She most recently worked at the Glover Park Group.

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology named Frank Mitloehner the 2019 Borlaug CAST Communication Award recipient. Mitloehner is a professor and air quality extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California-Davis and is recognized for his work to inform experts and various members of the public around the globe about animal agriculture’s influence on greenhouse gas emissions. His goal is to change societal views about the influence of animals on our climate through various channels of communication. 

Bill Stowe

Bill Stowe

Bill Stowe, the Des Moines Water Works CEO who launched ultimately unsuccessful lawsuits against three drainage districts over farm runoff, has died of pancreatic cancer. Stowe, 60, was forced to retire April 2 because of the diagnosis and passed away in hospice care April 14. He served as Des Moines’ public works director for 13 years before taking over DMWW in 2012. A Nevada, Iowa, native, Stowe worked in the oil industry in Houston and New Orleans before moving into the coal mining industry in Illinois. He worked at MidAmerican Energy, then called Iowa Resources, before making his way back to central Iowa. Stowe is survived by his wife, Amy, and son, Liam. He donated his body to scientific research.

A memorial service will be held Friday, April 26, in St. Paul, Minn., for Richard Magnuson. He is known for becoming an expert in agricultural cooperative law and served as general counsel to Farmers Union Central Exchange/Cenex. In 1970, he was hired as general counsel to Land O' Lakes Inc., where he set up its legal department and eventually also became the senior vice president of government relations. In 1983, he joined the Doherty, Rumble and Butler law firm and, beginning in 1991, was asked to provide agricultural legal services to several countries of the former USSR. Magnuson served in World War II in the U.S. Navy as a navigator on a LCT landing craft in the South Pacific. 

For more news, go to