Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., has announced she will not seek another term in Congress. In a statement, Lowey said, “After 31 years in the United States Congress, representing the people of Westchester, Rockland, Queens and the Bronx, I have decided not to seek re-election in 2020 … I will continue working as hard as ever — with the same optimism and energy — through the end of this term in Congress.” Lowey was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1988 and served in the Democratic Leadership in 2001 and 2002 as the first woman and the first New Yorker to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She is also the first woman to chair the House Appropriations Committee.

John Furner

John Furner

John Furner has been named president and CEO of Walmart U.S., effective Nov. 1. He will succeed Greg Foran, who held the role for five years. Foran plans to stay with Walmart through Jan. 31, 2020, to ensure a smooth transition. Furner most recently served as president and CEO of Walmart’s Sam’s Club business and earlier was chief merchandising officer for Sam’s Club.

Growth Energy has elected Dan Sanders as the association’s new chairman of the board of directors. Sanders currently serves as the vice president of Front Range Energy, located in Windsor, Colo., which joined Growth Energy in 2008. Sanders succeeds Jeff Broin, CEO of POET, LLC, who held the position since the association's inception in 2008.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council has tapped Texas dairy farmer Larry Hancock to serve as the new chairman. Hancock replaces Paul Rovey, an Arizona farmer who is retiring after serving seven years as chairman and 11 years as vice-chairman of the checkoff-funded USDEC. While running his own farm, Hancock has served as treasurer of Dairy Management Inc. and was a board member of the United Dairy Industry Association.

Jenny McGee has been appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as an associate administrator for relief, response and resilience at the United States Agency for International Development. McGee has held positions with the National Security Council and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She also has senior-level staff and deployed experience, with recent duties at Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe and Africa, United States Central Command Air and Space Operations Center, and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Agropur Cooperative has named Émile Cordeau to serve as its new CEO, effective Oct. 15. Cordeau joined Agropur in 2013 as vice president of process improvement. Since then, he has held a series of leadership positions, including vice president of the cooperative’s fine cheese business unit, vice president of food services and proximity retail and most recently senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Novus International announced François Fraudeau plans to retire as president and chief executive officer after 28 years with the company. Novus's Board of Directors has selected Dan Meagher, to be the next president and CEO, effective April 1, 2020. To begin the transition process, Meagher started at Novus on Oct. 14, as executive vice president and general manager before assuming the role of president and CEO in April. Meagher previously served as president and CEO of Boston-based animal health company Agrivida Inc., since late 2013. Prior to taking that post, he was Novus International's president of global animal nutrition solutions.

Dan Meagher

Dan Meagher

The National Association of Wheat Growers has hired Jake Westlin to serve as a government relations representative. Westlin most recently worked for Forbes Tate Partners as a research and policy analyst. Westlin previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide to former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has promoted Alexandra Adams to senior director of federal affairs. Adams previously served as the legislative director for NRDC’s Nature program and has worked as the group’s chief legislative advocate for oceans during the Obama and Trump administrations.

National Sugar Marketing LLC has tapped Chis Simons to serve as the company’s new president and chief executive officer, effective Oct. 14. Simons started his career with German grocery retailer Aldi, then worked for Cargill for nearly 20 years, including serving as the vice president of its sweeteners division. He succeeds Bill Smith, who has led National Sugar since its formation in 2011.

Dan Vradenburg has joined Trace Genomics as chief executive officer. Vradenburg is the former president at Wilbur Ellis. He spent more than 35 years at Wilbur Ellis, working his way up from field sales agronomist to president of the agribusiness division. 

Denise Heard has started at USPOULTRY as director of research programs. She succeeds John Glisson, who announced he is retiring soon. Heard will administer the USPOULTRY’s and the Foundation’s research program and Board Research Initiative program, which encompasses components of poultry and egg production and processing. Heard joins USPOULTRY from the Department of Agriculture’s National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), where she has served as the senior coordinator for the past eight years.

Mitch Baker has moved to the Department of Agriculture to serve as a confidential assistant in the Office of Partnership and Public Engagement. He was working as a legislative correspondent for Rep. John Rose, R-Tenn.

Andrew Vlasaty has moved to Sen. Roy Blunt’s, R-Mo., office to serve as a policy adviser for agriculture, energy, environment, and transportation issues. He previously served as a senior professional staff member for the Senate Agriculture Committee, where he handled conservation, forestry, and environment issues. He has worked for the Senate Agriculture Committee since 2011.

Elizabeth Barczak has been promoted to legislative counsel for Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio. She previously served as a legislative assistant and covers the portfolio for agriculture and food, animal welfare, environmental protection, public lands, and natural resources.

Greg Brooks is now the chief of staff for Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio. He has served as the deputy chief of staff and legislative director for the past 10 months. He covers appropriations, foreign trade, and international affairs. He replaces Derek Harley.

Christopher Hall is now a legislative assistant for Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va. Hall covers the portfolio for appropriations, energy, labor, foreign trade, telecommunications, small business, transportation, environmental protection, and natural resources. He previously served as a legislative assistant for Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.

Elizabeth Earwood is now a legislative aide for Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala. She handles the portfolio for labor and employment and previously served as a legislative correspondent for Palmer.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has hired Kristine Lucius to serve as her new chief of staff. Lucius previously served as the executive vice president and director of policy for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Melvin Félix has moved over to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis as the new communications director for Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla. Félix previously served as Rep. Matt Cartwright’s, D-Pa., press secretary.

Robyn Bryan is now the press secretary for Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-MI. She comes from the office of Rep. Dan Kildee, D-MI, where she served as the communications director.

Meghan Schmidtlein is now the legislative director for Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo. She previously served as the senior legislative assistant and handles the agriculture, appropriations, energy, small business, trade, and transportation portfolio.

Maddy Pike is now the outreach and member services director for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee under Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. Pike previously served as the director of government affairs for Tai Ginsberg and Associates LLC.

Garrett Turner is now the press secretary for Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont.

Jesse Lee is now a senior adviser for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. He previously served as the vice president of communications for the Center for American Progress.

Sara McGovern has left the office of Rep. Alma Adams, D-N.C., where she served as the communications director. Adam’s office has not hired a replacement but the point of contact for communications is Meagan Holland who currently serves as a press assistant in the Charlotte, N.C. office.

Kathryn McQuade has left the office of Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., where she served as the communications director. Blackburn’s office has not yet hired her replacement; Elizabeth Gregory, Blackburn's press secretary, is currently handling communications inquiries.

Jess Fassler is back on Capitol Hill as the chief of staff for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. He had served as Gillibrand’s chief of staff since 2009 but in February he became the campaign manager for Gillibrand’s presidential campaign.

Logan Hoover is now the legislative director for Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y. He has been promoted from senior legislative assistant and covers the portfolio for appropriations, labor, and small business. 

Dick Hanson, past editor of Successful Farming and AAEA president in 1965, has passed away at the age of 94. Hanson was a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Agriculture Journalism. He began his career in 1949 and finished his career in 1984 with Meredith Corporation where he served as executive director, editor, and agricultural editorial director of Successful Farming magazine.

Bill Swank passed away at the age of 88. Swank served 28 years at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation where he was the executive vice president. In his spare time, he traveled extensively with the AID program to foreign and third world countries promoting new approaches to agriculture. He received his Bachelor of Science, Masters and Doctorate from The Ohio State University. The university recognized his achievements in many areas, including the establishment of an endowed chair in Rural/Urban Policy. Swank was also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

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