John May has been tapped by the board of directors for Deere & Company to serve as the new CEO succeeding Samuel Allen, effective November 4. May was also selected to serve as a member of the board, effective immediately. May previously served as Deere’s president and chief operating officer since April 2019, and will become the 10th chief executive in the company’s 182-year history.

Illinois GOP Rep. John Shimkus announced he will serve out his current term representing his heavily Republican district, but not run for reelection in 2020. Shimkus is the 14th Republican to announce that he will not run next year, will resign or pursue a different office. The 12-term congressman is a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has sworn in Brandon Lipps as deputy undersecretary of the Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS) and Pam Miller as the administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) at USDA). Lipps has served as Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, and also as acting deputy undersecretary of the Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services since July 2017. Miller has served as the USDA’s Food and Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS) senior associate administrator for policy since September 2018 … Perdue also announced the appointment of five individuals to the United Sorghum Checkoff Program (USCP) board of directors. Serving a three-year term includes: Kendall Hodgson, Little River, Kan.; Jeffry D. Zortman, Fowler, Kan.; Kent L. Martin, Alva, Okla.; Joshua Birdwell, Malone, Texas. Serving a one-year term at-large is James Haase, Eads, Colo.

Mary Bohman is now the deputy director of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. She brings over 20 years of experience to the Bureau, previously serving at the Department of Agriculture. She most recently served as associate administrator of the Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services. Before that, she was the administrator of USDA's Economic Research Service

The Farm Credit Administration selected Robert Coleman to serve as the new chief operating officer, succeeding Bill Hoffman, who retires on Sept. 3, after 25 years of federal service. Coleman has served as chief examiner and director of the Office of Examination for the past nine years. Roger Paulsen, who has been deputy director of the Office of Examination since 2013, will serve as acting chief examiner.

David Grahn has been tapped by the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) to serve as the new director of the Office of Regulatory Policy. Grahn joined FCA in early 2018 as associate general counsel in the Office of General Counsel. Before that, he served 30 years at the USDA, beginning as a law clerk and ending as associate general counsel for the International Affairs, Food Assistance, and Farm and Rural Programs Division in the Office of General Counsel.

David Grahn

David Grahn

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler appointed Dennis Deziel of Maryland to become regional administrator for Region 1. Deziel will oversee environmental protection efforts in the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut and in 10 Tribal Nations. Deziel brings over 20 years of experience in the energy and environment industries, most recently working at Dow as the director of federal government affairs where he focused on focused on environment, energy, and regulatory affairs issues.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has hired Regina Tan to serve as the director of the Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Research. Tan comes to FDA from the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), where she oversaw the organization’s Office of Food Safety. Before joining FNS, Tan was the director for Recall Management and Technical Analysis at USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service. Tan has also served at CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer and Preventive Medicine Fellow.

Chobani promoted Peter McGuinness to president of the company. He previously served as the chief commercial and marketing officer since 2017. McGuinness will oversee Chobani's Demand function, supply chain, manufacturing, sustainability, and research and development functions. Chobani has also promoted Federico Muyshondt to chief customer officer, Jason Blaisure to senior vice president of supply chain, Parag Agrawal to chief information officer, and Grace Zuncic to chief people and culture officer. Mick Beekhuizen is departing Chobani where he served as the chief financial officer. Michelle Brooks, current Chobani treasurer, will serve as interim chief financial officer.

Kraft Heinz has named Paulo Basilio as the new CFO, replacing David Knopf. Basilio currently serves as the chief business planning and development officer and will take over as CFO on September. 1. Knopf became CFO in 2017, and will return to 3G Capital where he served as a partner starting in 2015. 

General Mills Inc. promoted Kofi Bruce to the position of CFO, effective Feb. 1. Bruce will also become vice president for financial operations, effective immediately. In a transition period, Bruce will work alongside outgoing CFO Donal Mulligan, who will move into an advisory role once the transition is complete. 

Inari adds Todd Martin and Scott Keetle to the company’s commercial operations team. Martin will serve as the new vice president of commercial development. He brings over 30 years of experience in the agriculture industry and most recently served as the CEO of the Independent Professional Seed Association (IPSA). Before that, he worked for Syngenta and Merrill Lynch. Keetle will serve as Inari’s general manager within the commercial operations leadership team. He brings over 20 years of experience in the seed industry and has held senior positions at AgReliant Genetics and Corn States. 

North Carolina Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten plans to step down from the position in December after 20 years at the helm. His successor will be elected at the Bureau’s annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C. in December. Wooten raised tobacco and other crops in Pender County, N.C. from 1973-94 before becoming assistant to the association’s president. He succeeded W.B. Jenkins in 1999.

Steve Dietze has joined the EFC Systems as the new senior vice president of business development, effective August 14. Dietze will focus on opening new markets and strategic business relationship opportunities for the company. He comes to EFC Systems from Wilbur-Ellis Company where he’s worked the past 16 years, most recently as vice president of strategy. 

Brigid Flay has left the U.S. Grains Council where she served as the global strategies coordinator. She has moved to the Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, where she serves as an agricultural economist for the Multilateral Affairs Division, under the Office of Agreements and Scientific Affairs.

Nigyar Makhmudova is the new executive vice president of growth and innovation at Danone S.A. She brings over 25 years of experience, and will be responsible for overseeing Danone's global marketing, innovation, R&D and digital sales functions.

Dalton Henry

Dalton Henry

Dalton Henry returns to U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) as the vice president of policy. Henry worked for USW in the same role from March 2015 to December 2016. In 2016, Henry left USW for the opportunity to work on policy affecting his home congressional district in Kansas, joining the office of Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., as legislative director. Most recently, Henry cofounded Roots and Legacies Consulting, Inc., offering communications and marketing consulting services … USW also hired Adrian “Ady” Redondo as the new bakery technician in its Manila, Philippines, office. Born in the Philippines, Redondo earned a Bachelor of Science degree in food technology from the University of the Philippines in 2001. Most recently, Redondo was a key accounts manager with Ingredion Philippines, Inc., a global ingredient solutions company.

The U.S. Apple Association named Jeff Colombini to serve as the chair of the Board of Directors. Colombini is a third-generation California grower and tree fruit business owner, and will serve the 2019-20 term. Colombini currently serves as the president of Lodi Farming Inc., a company that farms 1,800 acres of apples, cherries, olives, and walnuts in the northern San Joaquin Valley. Before farming full time, Colombini worked as an operations analyst for Stanislaus Food Products and as a loan officer for the Farm Credit System.

Steve Lutz has begun a new position with Category Partners LLC as vice president of Insights and Innovation. He most recently served as the vice president of member engagement at the Produce Marketing Association. Before that, he was chief strategist and vice president of marketing for CMI Orchards. He served at the Washington Apple Commission from 1992-2000, becoming president and CEO in 1996.

mitch Hunter

Mitch Hunter

Courtney Kingery has been tapped to serve as the new CEO of the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA), Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) and the Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA). Kingery will be responsible for leading the state’s corn and soybean checkoff programs. She currently serves as global director of health & wellness innovation for Tate & Lyle in the Chicago area. Earlier in her career she was a grain trader and marketing director for oilseeds and food ingredients for ADM.

The American Farmland Trust (AFT) hired Mitch Hunter as its new research director. He is in charge of building AFT’s collaborative research program, including its "Farms Under Threat” initiative. He will be based in St. Paul, Minnesota.

AgriThority added Gloverson Moro as the new director of global product development, Luke Samuel as the new manager of business and technology, and promoted Fred Tennant to director of global business. Moro, a native of Brazil, brings 23 years of experience working for Syngenta's worldwide R&D division in Latin America, Asia Pacific, and North America. Samuel brings over ten years of experience leading strategic efforts and knowledge transfer for products with Compass Minerals, The Climate Corporation, and Monsanto Company. Tennant previously served as the international business development manager.

Sipcam Agro USA promoted Michael Maravich to vice president of sales and marketing. He previously served as the vice president of specialty business.

AgriGrowth has hired Patrick Murray to serve as the new director of government and member relations, effective September 12. Murray currently serves as the director of government relations for Cooperative Network, a trade association for cooperatives in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture hired Lacy Pitts as the new executive administrator to NASDA CEO Barbara Glenn. Pitts most recently interned in the office of Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., and is a graduate of Kansas State University.

Lacy Pitts

Lacy Pitts

The World Food Prize Foundation added Purvi Mehta, head of Asia Agriculture for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to the Council of Advisors. Mehta will review, advise and guide the World Food Prize leadership on their policies as well as help lead and design the Foundation programs.

Naomi Gordon has been tapped to serve as the new executive director for the Idaho Wool Growers Association. She succeeds former director, Brandy Kay, who was at the helm the last three years.

Anna Yu is now a professional staff member at the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. She previously served in the office of Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., as his senior policy adviser.

Eric Henshall has been promoted to senior legislative assistant in Rep. Anna Eshoo’s, D-Calif., office. Henshall covers the portfolio for agriculture, energy, environment, natural resources, transportation, and immigration.

Joshua Izaak has been promoted to legislative director from senior policy counsel in Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán’s, D-Calif., office. Izaak handles the telecommunications, technology, labor, and small business portfolio.

Lauren Baltimore is the new press assistant for Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. She replaces Gaby Hurt, who is now a White House press assistant.

Ryan Donnelly is Sen. John Thune’s, R-S.D., new legislative assistant covering the agriculture and food, animal welfare, energy, environmental protection, and natural resources portfolio. He takes these issues over from Lynn Tjeerdsma who has retired as Thune’s senior policy adviser. 

Heather Purcell has been promoted to deputy chief of staff and communications director in the office of Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif.

Alejandra Leynez is the new legislative assistant for Rep. Linda Teresa Sánchez, D-Calif., covering the portfolio for immigration, labor, and employment. Leynez previously served as a fellow to Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif.

Justin Weiss is now the communications director for Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash. He comes from Rational 360 where he served as senior associate. 

Lisa Barbounis is the new communications director for Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas. She previously served as the director of communications for Middle East Forum. 

Matthew Sussis now serves as Sen. Deb Fischer’s, R-Neb., press secretary. He most recently served as the assistant communications director for the Center for Immigration Studies.

Anna Swick has left the office of Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., where she served as the communications director. She is replaced by Danny Jativa, who previously served as a staff writer for the Washington Examiner. 

Andrew Renteria has left the office of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., where he served as the chief of staff. Joe Knowles succeeds Renteria, previously serving as the deputy chief of staff and legislative director.

The Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau (CIRB) named 13 industry professionals to its 2019-2020 Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) class. The class includes: Neely Phelps, American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Inc; Jay Mark, ARMtech Insurance Services; Craig Conroy, COUNTRY Financial; Matthew Miller, COUNTRY Financial; David Stewart, Crop Risk Services; Cade Stockberger, Crop Risk Services; Zach Allsup, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa; Chad Simon, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company of Iowa; Duane Hynes, Holborn; Jaya Hahn, Hudson Crop Insurance Services, Inc; Alexis Schroeder, Hudson Crop Insurance, Inc; Mat Brueggeman, Rural Community Insurance Services; and Robert Rankin, Rural Community Insurance Services. The program gives the opportunity for the selected professionals to increase their knowledge of advocacy and communications while providing networking experiences with industry leaders.

John Ochs passed away on August 6 at the age of 68. In 1981, Ochs moved to Washington D.C., to work for John Block, Secretary of Agriculture under President Ronald Reagan. He served eight years at USDA, then moved to work for the Ford Motor Company. He became the director of public relations, moving to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and finally to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he retired in 2003. He was a 35-year honorary member of the National Farm Broadcasters Association, receiving the Distinguished Service Award in 1985. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the United States Department of Agriculture in 1986. His funeral will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, October 26, 2019, at St. Joseph’s Parish in Stringtown, Illinois. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675, in John's memory.

John Harvey, agriculture communicator and lover of antique tractors, passed away August 25, at the age of 84. Harvey was a lifelong contributor to the agriculture community, known for his work in advertising, public relations, and classic tractors. He joined the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) in 1975 and in his career, he worked for the Savannah Reporter, Successful Farming in Des Moines, Reiman Publishing in Milwaukee, and Farm Journal in Philadelphia. He joined the DuPont Company’s agro-chemicals division in 1976, in that same year, he was the managing editor for the Department of Agriculture’s special edition, Bicentennial Yearbook of Agriculture. After 16 years with DuPont, he later started his own business, John Harvey Communications. It was here that he came up with the idea of the Classic Tractor Calendar, which still bears his name today. He served as the president of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association, and during his tenure he met with four U.S. Presidents.

Wallace Tyner

Wallace Tyner

Wallace Tyner, Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, passed away August 17 after a brief illness. Tyner joined the Purdue faculty in 1977 after earning his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Texas Christian University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland. From 1989 to 2002, Tyner served as head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue. During his 42-year tenure at Purdue, Tyner earned a global reputation for his extensive research in the areas of energy, agriculture, climate and natural resource policy analysis. “Wally was a wise and trusted advisor to policymakers, businesses leaders, generations of students, and, of course, his friends and colleagues. Our department would not be where it is today without his foresight, passion and servant leadership,” said Jayson Lusk, the current department head of agricultural economics. The family has designated the Dr. Wallace Tyner Scholarship in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University’s College of Agriculture for memorial contributions. Please make donations online here or make donations payable to the Purdue Foundation and mail to Purdue Foundation, 403 W. Wood Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907.

David Koch, billionaire businessman and conservative donor, died August 23, at the age of 79. David along with his brother Charles Koch built their family business into what is known today as Koch Industries. Koch went to school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge where he received a degree in engineering and played on the basketball team. He joined the family business in 1970, after the death of his father, to open a New York office. In 1979, he became president of Koch Engineering, later Koch Chemical Technology, and in 1981 he became the executive vice president of Koch Industries, second to his brother who was the chairman and chief executive. Companies owned by the Koch brothers include: Koch Industries' Growth, Flint Hills Resources, Georgia-Pacific, Guardian Industries, Invista, Molex, Koch Ag & Energy Solutions, and Koch Pipeline Company. According to Forbes, David Koch was the 11th richest man in the world with a net worth of approximately $42 billion.

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