President Donald Trump designated Glen Smith to serve as chairman and CEO of the Farm Credit Administration. Smith succeeds Dallas Tonsager, who died in office in May. Smith previously served as a member of the FCA board and served on the board of directors of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation. The designation was effective July 17. Smith is a native of Southwest Iowa, where he and his wife operate a diversified farm. He is founder and co-owner of Smith Land Service Co., an agricultural service company that specializes in farm management, land appraisal, and farmland brokerage.

Heath Tarbert, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, announced new appointments to positions in his office. Jaime Klima will serve as chief of staff and chief operating officer. Before this appointment, Klima served at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as chief counsel in the Office of the Chair. Charlie Thornton has been appointed to serve as counselor to the chairman, Thomas Benison will serve as chief negotiator for international agreements, and Matthew DaiglerDaniel Grimm, and Andrew Ridenour will serve as senior counsel to the chairman. Chelsea Pizzola has been tapped to serve as deputy chief of staff and counsel to the chairman, Melissa Benedict will serve as executive assistant, and Anna Rosenberg will serve as special assistant to the chairman and legislative specialist.

Jerry Flint

Jerry Flint

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has made a few leadership changes. Mark Davidson has been hired to serve as an associate administrator, filling the position previously held by Mike Gregoire, who retired earlier this year. Davidson previously served as deputy administrator for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Business Services. Bernadette Juarez will be the deputy administrator for Biotechnology Regulatory Services, succeeding Mike Firko, who is retiring at the end of the month. Juarez has been serving as the deputy administrator for Animal Care since early 2016, after earlier service as the director of APHIS Investigative and Enforcement Services and before that as an attorney with USDA’s Office of the General Counsel. Jack Shere will become an associate administrator, filling the position previously held by Mary Bohman, who left the agency earlier this year. Bohman previously served as administrator for ERS. Shere has been serving as deputy administrator for Veterinary Services (VS) and Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) since early 2016. Burke Healey, currently the VS associate deputy administrator, will succeed Shere as the VS deputy administrator and CVO. Rosemary Sifford, currently the VS associate deputy administrator for Strategy and Policy (S&P), will succeed Healey as the VS associate administrator. Sarah Tomlinson, currently the VS executive director for S&P, will succeed Sifford as VS associate deputy administrator for S&P. Thomas McKenna, currently director for District One of VS Field Operations (FiOps), will be a new FiOps executive director. He will also serve as the FiOps acting associate deputy administrator while APHIS recruits for a permanent successor to Brian McCluskey, who recently left the Agency. 

The National Pork Board tapped Jerry Flint to serve as vice president of engagement and outreach effective Aug. 1. He comes to NPB from Corteva Agriscience, where he most recently served as the vice president and special adviser of external affairs. Prior to Corteva, Flint was director of regulatory affairs at Monsanto. 

Joseph Balagtas has been selected to serve as the new senior economist, with a focus on agricultural and food policy, to the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) in Washington, D.C. Balagtas is an associate professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University. His appointment will begin on Aug. 1, and he will also have a partial appointment working with the USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist conducting economic analysis on similar policies. Balagtas holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of California, Davis, an M.S. in agricultural economics from Iowa State University and a B.A. in economics from Miami University.

Joseph Balagtas

Joseph Balagtas

Katy Martin Rainey has been chosen to serve as the new director of the Purdue University Soybean Center. Rainey is an associate professor of agronomy, specializing in soybean genetics and plant breeding. Rainey has been a Purdue agriculture faculty member since 2012, and previously worked on the faculty of Virginia Tech. She earned her undergraduate degree in botany from the University of Georgia and her Ph.D. in plant breeding from Cornell University.

Carlisle Clarke will be joining Van Scoyoc Associates (VSA) as the firm’s new vice president. The past four years, Clarke served as the majority clerk of the Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittee. Earlier in his career, he worked for Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran and for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Prior to his time with Cochran, he was a professional staffer for Senate Ag Committee Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia.

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) has hired Max Moncaster to serve as associate director of public policy, leading NASDA’s international trade, domestic marketing, and natural resources policy issues. Moncaster comes to NASDA from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), where he served as the director of policy communications. NASDA also promoted Sara Arsenault to manager of public policy. She previously served as manager of program development and partnerships. Arsenault will lead NASDA’s engagement on animal agriculture issues. Amanda Culp has been promoted to director of communications and events, leading the execution of the NASDA Annual Meeting, Winter Policy Conference, and other events. Culp has served as director of communications for six years and has been employed by NASDA for over eight years. Molly Quirk is also being promoted from office manager to manager of partnerships and finance.

Max Moncaster

Max Moncaster

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative has hired Trey Forsyth to serve as special assistant to the Chief Agricultural Negotiator. Forsyth comes to USTR from Land O’Lakes, where he served as a government relations specialist.

Ryann DuRant is the new press secretary for Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. She hails from South Carolina, and comes to the department after nearly eight years on the Hill, most recently working for Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, as his press secretary during his tenure as Majority Whip. Ryann graduated with honors from Wake Forest University, where she was a presidential scholar and received a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Clay Armentrout is now the legislative director and counsel for Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala. Armentrout handles the agriculture and food, energy, foreign trade, and transportation portfolio and was previously Shelby’s general counsel. He replaces Morgan Ulmer, who now works as a clerk for the Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittee.

Alec Zender is the new agriculture legislative assistant for Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich. He also covers the foreign trade, immigration, and finance portfolios. Zender previously served as the agriculture legislative assistant for Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind. Brantley Seifers now covers the ag portfolio for Hollingsworth.

Ryann DuRant

Ryann DuRant

Taylor McCarty is the new communications director for Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa. She previously worked as a communication strategist for DDC Advocacy LLC.

Kevin O’Keefe is now the legislative assistant covering the animal, science and technology, and telecommunications portfolio for Rep. Fred Keller, R-Pa. He previously worked for Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., as a temporary legislative assistant.

Samantha Swing is a legislative assistant covering the environmental protection and public lands and natural resources portfolio for Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev. She most recently worked for the American Association for Justice as its press secretary.

Curtis Kalin is the new communications director for Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C. He previously worked as the communications director for the Citizens Against Government Waste. … Sam Shumate has been promoted by Budd to serve as a legislative aide covering the agriculture and food, environmental protection, energy, and natural resources portfolio. He previously served as Budd’s legislative correspondent.

Claire Trokey has been promoted to serve as the legislative director for Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., covering the agriculture and food, animals, foreign trade, and transportation portfolios. She previously served as Scalise’s legislative assistant.

Jean Roehrenbeck is now the chief of staff for Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J. She comes from National Grid USA where she served as the director of federal government affairs.

Luke Newgaard has left the office of Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., where he served as the legislative assistant covering the energy, environmental protection, and natural resources portfolios. He moved back to his home state of Minnesota to work for Arctic Wolf Networks. At this time, Webster’s office has not hired a replacement.

J.D. Dalfonso has left the office of Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ill., where he served as communications director, to move to Peoria, Ill., and become the CEO of the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. John Rauber has taken over as deputy communications director for LaHood until a replacement is hired.

The Iowa AgriTech Accelerator brought on Nadilia Gomez to serve as the new executive director for the program. Gomez joins The Accelerator from Corteva Agriscience, where she served as a senior research scientist in Predictive Ag and as digital pillar leader of the Disruptive Business Innovation Portfolio. She will take over as executive director on Aug. 1.

Settling into retirement is Terry Barr. Barr retired as senior economist at CoBank at the end of June. He joined CoBank in May 2009 and spent 25 years with the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives where he served as the organization’s chief economist. Before that, he served 14 years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture serving as the director of economic analysis and chairman of the World Agricultural Outlook Board. 

Beth Kegley, an animal science professor at the University of Arkansas, has been elected president of the American Society of Animal Science. Kegley officially took over duties at the society's annual meeting on July 10. Kegley has been a professor in the department of animal science for the Division of Agriculture’s Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station and the University of Arkansas’ Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences since 2007. 

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