Krysta Harden, a deputy secretary of agriculture during the Obama administration, has been named executive vice president of global environmental strategy of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI). Harden is tasked with driving the dairy checkoff’s environmental sustainability strategy and will report to Barb O’Brien, president of DMI and the Innovation Center. Harden most recently served as senior vice president of external affairs and chief sustainability officer for Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont. Before joining DuPont, Harden spent three years as deputy secretary of agriculture under Secretary Tom Vilsack after a stint as his chief of staff.

USDA’s Rural Development has announced new leadership changes and appointments. Misty Ann Giles has been appointed to chief of staff. Giles has been with USDA since 2017 and has been serving as acting chief of staff. Appointed to chief of staff for USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service is Stephanie HolderfieldShe has been serving in the role of senior adviser at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development since 2017. Justin Domer has been tapped as chief of staff for Rural Development’s Rural Housing Service. His experience includes being a regional representative for former Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Stepping into the role of chief of staff for Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service is Curtis AndersonHe served as chief of staff for Rural Development’s Rural Housing Service since 2017 and previously served as deputy administrator for Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Service in the George W. Bush administration. He has also held positions at Farm Credit, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and at telecommunications companies. Tapped to become Rural Development’s chief operating officer is Angilla Dentonwho previously served as the civil rights director. Scott Williams has been named Rural Development’s deputy chief finance officer. Sharese Paylor has been promoted to civil rights director; she previously served as program compliance branch chief for Rural Development-Civil Rights. Before that, she was a senior equal opportunity specialist with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Jason Marthaler

Jason Marthaler

The Corn Refiners Association hired Steve Gardner to serve as its new COO. Gardner comes from Crosby-Volmer International Communications where he served as COO. Before that, he worked for US Pharmacopeia, The Aluminum Association, and the American Chemistry Council. Gardner’s first day was Monday.

CHS Inc. tagged Jason Marthaler as its new vice president of commodity risk management and supply chain for the Country Operations division. Marthaler previously served as director of trading, supply and risk management for CHS Agronomy.

Bunge officially appointed Gregory Heckman as chief executive officer. Heckman was named acting CEO in January 2019 after Soren Schroder announced he would resign from the position. Heckman joined the Bunge board of directors last October as part of a settlement deal with Continental Grain Co. and D.E. Shaw & Corp. Heckman previously served as the CEO of the Omaha-based grain company Gavilon Group.

The Conservation Technology Information Center welcomes Mike Komp as its new executive director. In this role, Komp will help build collaborative networks that promote conservation farming systems, gather funding for new programs, and help analyze digital data on conservation practices. He most recently served as technical program manager for agricultural technology at the Noble Research Institute.

Mike Komp

Mike Komp

Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., announced his intent to run for chairman of the House Agriculture Committee in the 117th Congress. Crawford has served on the Ag Committee since he was first elected in 2010, and has experience in the agriculture industry including working as a farm broadcaster and a marketing manager for a John Deere dealership.

Yesterday, was Andrew Jerome’s last day with the National Farmers Union. He has been with NFU for the past five years serving as communications director and has moved on to join Michael Torrey Associates. He will begin with MTA on May 6.

The National Pork Producers Council brought on Andrew Bailey to serve as NPPC’s science and technology legal counsel. Before joining NPPC, Bailey was an attorney with Siff & Associates, practicing regulatory and administrative law, with a focus in food and agriculture issues at the USDA and FDA. Before that, he was the manager of scientific and regulatory affairs at the National Turkey Federation.

Thomas Brunet has joined the Biotechnology Innovation Organization as the new director of federal government relations. He has already registered as a lobbyist underneath a variety of legislative issues. His latest position was serving Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., as a senior counsel for domestic policy.

Anne-Marie Boisseau has been brought on to serve as legislative assistant for Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, D-Texas. She has the portfolio for energy, environment and protection, foreign trade and international finance, and telecommunications.

Zack Linick has left the office of Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas. He served as legislative director covering agriculture and food, energy, trade and foreign affairs, water and environment. Cuellar’s office is in the process of hiring a new LD, but in the meantime his portfolio has been taken over by senior legislative assistant Travis Knight.

John Insinger

John Insinger

Patrick Byrne is new to the office of Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, where he serves as a legislative assistant covering energy, environmental protection and social welfare issues. He previously worked as a government relations associate for CJ Lake LLC.

John Insinger became the new chief of staff for Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho. He fills the shoes of longtime chief of staff John Sandy, who worked with Risch for over three decades, first serving as his chief of staff in the governor’s office. Insinger is a lawyer in Risch’s firm Risch Pisca, PLLC and has served on the board of commissioners for the Idaho Housing and Finance Association. ... Kaylin Minton has left the office of Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, to begin a new role as communications director for Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, for the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Thomas Woodburn has started as a legislative director covering foreign trade, telecommunications, and labor and employment for Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Co.

Brian Simonsen is now a legislative specialist for the U.S. Sentencing Commission. He previously served as a counsel for Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

Yesterday, was Will Boyington’s last day in Rep. Dan Newhouse’s, R-Wash., office. Boyington served as communications director since 2015 for Newhouse. Before that, he served Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee as deputy press secretary. Liz Daniels is the new communications director for Newhouse. She previously served as his legislative assistant and deputy press secretary.

Sara Broadwater is stepping in as the new communications director for Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas. She comes from the U.S. Department of Education where she served as deputy press secretary.

Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., promoted Brad Decker to legislative and press assistant from legislative correspondent. Decker will cover public lands and natural resources and housing and community development issues.

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, hired Christine Brennan to his staff as his new scheduler. Brennan just completed an internship for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Jenna Galper is the new digital director and press secretary for Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

Eva Cline has left the office of Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Mich., where she served as his legislative assistant. Jayson Schimmenti, legislative director, has taken over her portfolio. … Settling in as the agriculture policy assistant for Moolenaar is Noah Yantis. He also serves as staff assistant.

Alec Bartishevich is promoted to legislative correspondent for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. He previously served as staff assistant.

Maggie Farry switched offices to Sen. Krysten Sinema, D-Ariz., as her new legislative aide. She previously served Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., as his legislative assistant.

Natalie Burkhalter has left the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee under Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. She served as Paul’s staff director for the committee.

Laura Epstein has left the office of Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-N.Y., where she served as communications director. Delgado’s office is currently searching for a new communications director.

Bart Chilton

Bart Chilton

Bart Chilton, a former Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner (CFTC) died over the weekend at the age of 58. Chilton began his career in 1985 working in the House of Representatives, serving as legislative director for three U.S. representatives. From 1995-2001, he worked at USDA and rose to deputy chief of staff for former Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman. After his time at USDA, he became senior adviser to South Dakota Democrat Sen. Tom Daschle. In 2005, he was appointed by President George Bush to serve as the executive assistant to the board of the Farm Credit Administration and nominated again by Bush and confirmed by the Senate in 2007 to serve as a CFTC commissioner. He was reappointed in 2009 by President Obama. Before being confirmed as a commissioner, he served as chief of staff and vice president of government relations at the National Farmers Union. After CFTC, Chilton joined the law firm DLA Piper as a senior policy adviser for regulatory and public policy issues.

Indiana’s longest serving senator, Republican Richard Lugar, died from complications related to CIPD; he was 87 years old. Lugar was known for being a foreign policy expert and fighter for America’s farmers. He served as chair and ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and strongly supported the farm bill’s locally-led and voluntary conservation title programs and encouraged bipartisan support for biofuels that led to the RFS. House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said Lugar was “a problem solver who could work with anybody to get things done.” He was a six-term senator who worked heavily on agricultural issues and later teamed up with Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn to work on control of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. He ran for president in 1996, lead efforts to end apartheid in South Africa, and worked to secure weapons of mass destruction from the former Soviet Union.

Veteran agricultural trade negotiator Charles J. (Joe) O’Mara died April 27 of complications from a stroke suffered a week earlier. He was 75. He operated consulting firm O’Mara & Associates for 23 years following his retirement after a 28-year career at USDA. O’Mara retired from USDA in 1995 as career minister in the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) following three years as counsel to the secretary of agriculture for international affairs. He also was a USTR special trade negotiator for agriculture in the Uruguay Round of the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He previously was career minister-counselor at the U.S. mission to the GATT in Geneva, deputy administrator for international trade policy at FAS and agricultural counselor in U.S. embassies in Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo. O’Mara’s expertise “almost single-handedly resulted in a successful conclusion to the Uruguay Round and creation of the WTO,” said Joseph Glauber, a subsequent agricultural negotiator. A funeral mass will be held at Monday, May 6, at Annunciation Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.

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