President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Brandon Lipps as the Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services at the Department of Agriculture. Previously, Lipps served as counsel and senior professional staff to the House Committee on Agriculture. He has served as chief of staff for the Office of the Chancellor at the Texas Tech University System and was an associate at the Lubbock law firm of Crenshaw, Dupree, & Milam.

Accompanied by his parents, Kip Tom was sworn in to serve as the agriculture representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome this week by Vice president Mike Pence.

Kip Tom

Kip Tom

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson announced he will not seek reelection next year at the group’s annual meeting held March 1-3 in Savannah, Ga. Johnson is a native of Turtle Lake, N.D., and has served as NFU's president since March 2009. 

Ian Borden has been elevated to president of international at the McDonald’s Corp. Borden previously served as president of international developmental licensed markets at McDonald’s Corp. Borden has held a variety of roles with McDonald’s over the past 25 years, including president of foundational markets, chief financial officer of the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa segment and managing director.

The Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac) selected Aparna Ramesh to serve as its new executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, effective Jan. 6. Ramesh joins Farmer Mac with more than two decades of financial experience, most recently with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston serving as the senior vice president and chief financial officer.

The Department of Agriculture appointed new individuals to serve on the National Organic Standards Board. The new appointees are as follows: Nathan Powell-Palm, operator of Cold Spring Organics, a Belgrade, Mont., grains, row crops and cattle operation; Kimberly Huseman, director of specialty ingredients for Greeley, Colo.-based Pilgrim’s; Mindee Jeffery, grocery manager of Eastside Food Co-op, Minneapolis; Wood Turner, senior vice president of sustainability for Agriculture Capital, San Francisco; and Jerry D’Amore, who currently works with Munger Farms through his consulting business located in Watsonville, Calif. He has been director of sourcing and new business development for SunnyRidge Farm, which was later acquired by Dole Food Co., and served as vice president of agricultural development for Clear Springs LLC.

Calyxt, a plant-based technology company, appointed Vince Restucci in a newly created role as vice president of agronomy services. Restucci brings more than 35 years of agribusiness, refining and CPG experience to Calyxt. He most recently worked with R.D. Offutt Company, as director of procurement and business technology.

Mary Emma Young has been promoted to senior director of communications for the Pet Food Institute. Young previously served as the director of communications at the Pet Food Institute and, before that, at CropLife America. In addition, Atalie Ebersole has joined the Pet Food Institute as an executive assistant. Atalie served as an executive assistant to Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., and more recently served as a PAC manager for Grant Thornton, LLP and advocacy director for Rescue:Freedom International.

Sydney Fincher started a new job with Anheuser-Busch as the manager of federal government affairs. She previously served as a professional staff member for Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., on the Senate Judiciary Committee for the Intellectual Property Subcommittee.

Jennifer Roland has joined the staff at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) as the new coordinator of food safety programs. She will help manage multiple cooperative agreements with the Food and Drug Administration to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Roland most recently served as the executive assistant and event planner for the Association of American Feed Control Officials, a NASDA affiliate.

Liz Stower  joined the staff at OFW Law where she will work as the senior policy adviser. Stower worked on Capitol Hill as Rep. Ron Kind’s, D-Wis., legislative director and worked in Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s, D-Wis., office … Molly O’Connor has been promoted to senior policy adviser at OFW Law.

Molly O'Connor

Molly O'Connor

Ashley Willits has been promoted to deputy director of external and intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Agriculture. Willits previously served as an advance lead for Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, named Cheryl Vincent as the new Republican staff director for the House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support. Vincent most recently served as senior advisor for legislative affairs at the Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services, and policy advisor to the White House Office of Economic Initiatives. Before that, she worked as professional staff on the Ways and Means Committee leading efforts to reform the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

Robert Peters has been promoted to senior legislative assistant for Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas. He covers the portfolio for agriculture and food, energy, environmental protection, natural resources, and small business.

Varun Krovi now serves as the chief of staff for Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich. He previously served as the deputy chief of staff and legislative director and covered the energy, foreign trade, appropriations, and science and technology portfolio.

Jefferson Deming has been promoted to deputy chief of staff for Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark. Deming previously served as the legislative director and handles the portfolio for energy, foreign trade, transportation, and international affairs.

Blake Narendra has been moved to a legislative assistant in Sen. Jeff Merkley’s, D-Ore., office. He covers the international affairs portfolio.

Nicole Scott has left the office of Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., where she served as his senior adviser. She now works for ONEOK Inc. as the director of federal government relations. Before joining Lucas’ office Scott worked for the House Agriculture Committee as a chief clerk to Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas.

Heather Sager has joined the staff of Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., as the new communications director. She previously worked as the spokesperson for the campaign of Indianapolis mayor Joe Hogsett.

Ansley Lacitis has taken over the role of communications director for Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., replacing Reid Walker. She now serves as the deputy chief of staff and communications director.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., has promoted Kelley Moore to serve as communications director and Marli Collier to serve as press secretary. 

Brendan Parets has left the office of Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., where he served as chief counsel. He now works for Covington & Burling LLP as a special counsel.

Lee Lonsberry has left the Beltway where he served as the senior communications adviser to Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, on the House Natural Resources Committee. He now works as the talk show host for KSL-AM in Salt Lake City.

Brianna Manzelli has left the office of Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., where she served as the deputy communications director on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

The Agricultural Retailers Association has tapped Rod Wells of GROWMARK to serve as chairman of its board. Wells succeeds Troy Johnson of Wilbur-Ellis in the role. 

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol named new board of directors for the 2020 year. Directors include: Matt Coley of Georgia; Ted Schneider of Louisiana; Shawn Holladay of Texas; Aaron Barcellos of California; David Blakemore of Missouri; Hank Reichle of Mississippi; Steve Dyer of Tennessee; Fred Serven of Tennessee; Jim Martin of North Carolina; Liza Schillo, Levi Strauss & Co.; Joe Little, Tesco; Suzy Friedman, Environmental Defense Fund; Melissa Ho, the World Wildlife Fund; Marty Matlock, the University of Arkansas; and Garry Bell, formerly with Gildan. Trust Protocol advisers include: Jesse Daystar, Cotton Incorporated; Andy Jordan, Jordan Consulting; Marc Lewkowitz, Supima; Mark Pryor, The Seam; and Mike Quinn, Frontier Spinning Mills.

CHS Inc. elected five board members to three-year terms during the cooperative's 2019 Annual Meeting held in Minneapolis. Hal Clemensen succeeds former director Randy Knecht. Clemensen represents Region 4, covering South Dakota, and has been the president of the board of directors of Agtegra Cooperative since its formation in 2018. Kevin Throener succeeds former director Dennis Carlson, representing Region 3, covering North Dakota. Reelected to three-year terms are Mark Farrell, representing Region 5, Alan Holm representing Region 1, and Steve Riegel representing Region 8.

The Fats and Proteins Research Foundation (FPRF) has awarded the 2019 Dr. Fred Bisplinghoff FPRF Innovation Award to Dr. Dan Whitehead of Clemson University. Whitehead is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at Clemson’s College of Science and received the award in recognition of his work on odor mitigation, environmental remediation, and development of nanomaterials to capture compounds associated with rendering odors.

Gene Hall, Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) communications director, has retired from the organization after 42 years. Hall was appointed director of TFB Communications division on Dec. 1, 1990. Before his appointment as communications director, Hall was director of Radio/Television from 1980 to 1990. He joined the TFB staff in 1978 as assistant director of Radio/Television.

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