The Public Lands Council (PLC) has named Kaitlynn Glover as its new executive director. Glover will serve as the chief lobbyist for the organization, representing cattle and sheep producers in western states on resource issues affecting their operations. Glover most recently worked for Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., as his legislative assistant for agriculture and public lands. Barrasso’s office has not yet filled Glover’s position of ag legislative assistant.

Kaitlynn Glover

Kaitlynn Glover

Anne Thompson is now the director of PAC and political strategy at the National Corn Growers Association. Thompson comes from Bunge North America, where she worked as the director of government affairs for the past five years. Before that she worked for CoBank.

Kellie Adesina has joined Bayer's crop science division as the new director of federal government affairs. She previously served as chief counsel for House Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn. She also worked at USDA during the Obama Administration in the office of the general counsel. 

Kathryn Graves Unger is now the vice president of North America government relations for Cargill. She previously served as the managing director of Cargill Aqua Nutrition. 

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has hired Charlotte Kirk Baer to serve as managing director for the organization’s Food and Environment Program. Baer comes to UCS after 14 years at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), where she managed grant programs.

Growers Edge has appointed Dan Cosgrove as its new CEO. Cosgrove joined the team in 2019 as the chief strategy officer. Before that, he held leadership roles at Corteva Agriscience, including global lead, corporate development and licensing, vice president of business development, and chief patent counsel. 

Jennifer Yezak has been hired to serve as the new associate director of federal relations for Texas A&M AgriLife in Washington, D.C. The Texas A&M alumna most recently served as deputy clerk for the House Agriculture Committee. She brings 15 years of experience working for USDA, where she was director of external and intergovernmental affairs, senior adviser to the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and worked in legislative affairs at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Her career started in Washington, D.C. as legislative assistant to Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, D-Texas, and she also served as director of legislative and regulatory affairs for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture for more than six years.

Todd Foley has left the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) where he served as the senior vice president for strategy, policy, and government relations as well as the chief strategy officer. Taking over his responsibilities is chief operating officer Bill Parsons

The Consumer Brands Association announced Ellen Davis will join the organization’s senior leadership team as executive vice president of industry engagement, effective March 2. Davis most recently served as senior vice president at the National Retail Federation and president of the NRF Foundation. 

Sam Wojcicki

Sam Wojcicki

Sam Wojcicki is now the legislative director for Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., covering the agriculture, energy, and natural resource portfolio. Wojcicki previously served as Rep. Sean Casten’s, D-Ill., environment legislative assistant.

Jocelyn Broman has started in the office of Rep. Paul Cook, R-Calif., as a legislative assistant covering the agriculture, energy, environmental protection, and natural resources portfolio. Broman comes from Sen. Ben Sasse’s, R-Neb., office where she served as a legislative correspondent.

Josh Wentzel was promoted to senior legislative assistant for Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. He covers the agriculture, energy, environmental protection, foreign trade, telecommunications, and natural resources portfolio.

Parker Reynolds has joined the staff of Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, as the new communications director. He previously worked in the office of Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind.

Chris Krepich now works as the communications director for Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio. Krepich previously worked as the communications director for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

Paige Lindgren is now the deputy press secretary of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. She previously worked in Sen. David Perdue’s, R-Ga., office as the press assistant.

Laura Detter has taken a new role as the communications director and foreign policy adviser for Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa. Detter previously served as a legislative assistant.

Zack Laven has been promoted to senior legislative assistant covering the agriculture, energy, environmental protection, natural resources, and transportation portfolio for Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz.

Audrey Loyola has moved up to press secretary from staff assistant for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Javier Gamboa has joined the majority staff of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis as a senior professional staff member under Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla. Gamboa is the former deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J.

Sydney Eubanks has been promoted to press secretary from staff assistant for Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas.

Promoted to legislative director in Rep. Nydia Margarita Velázquez’s, D-N.Y., office is Jonathan Martinez. Martinez covers the foreign trade, natural resources and public lands portfolio.

Lindsey Curnutte is now the communications director for Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo. She previously worked for Heritage Action for America.

Medha Surampudy is now a professional staff member for the House Energy and Commerce Committee's energy subcommittee. Surampudy previously worked for Smart Electric Power Alliance as a senior analyst.

The National Academy of Sciences awarded Zach Lippman, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, with the 2020 Prize in Food and Agriculture Science. Lippman got the $100,000 prize for his work to accelerate crop improvement. His work is aimed at the challenges of increasing crop productivity in the face of declining agricultural land and population growth. The NAS Prize, endowed by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is awarded annually to a scientist who has made an extraordinary contribution to agriculture.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) announced the new officers elected to the executive council as well as new directors for the group’s five industry segment boards. Dan Zagzebski, president and CEO of Great Lakes Cheese Co., Inc., is the new chair; David Ahlem, president and CEO of Hilmar Cheese Company, has been elected to vice chair; Stan Ryan, president and CEO of Darigold, is the new secretary; and David Nelsen, vice president of manufacturing at Albertsons Companies, was elected treasurer. To see the directors elected to the industry segment boards, click here.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has appointed 18 members and 18 alternate members to serve on The Cotton Board. To see those elected to the board, click here. The appointees will serve three-year terms, ending Dec. 31, 2022.

President Donald Trump has sent to the Senate the nomination of Charles Stones to be a member of the board of directors for the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac). ... Farmer Mac has designated LaJuana Wilcher as the new chair of the company’s board of directors, effective Jan. 17. Wilcher is from Bowling Green, Ky., and owns and operates Scuffle Hill Farm in Alvaton, Ky., where she raises Angus cattle, grows hay, alfalfa and fescue, and boards horses. She joined Farmer Mac’s board on Dec. 20 after being nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate. Lowell Junkins of Des Moines, Iowa, has served as chairman of Farmer Mac’s board since 2010, and is in line to serve as vice chairman. 

The American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) announced individuals elected to its 2019-2020 board of directors. They are as follows: Mike Traxinger, president; Pat Dillon, president-elect; Amber Miller, past president; Blair Dunn, director; Erin Herbold-Swalwell, director; Jake Parker, director; Ross Pifer, director; Joe Miller, director; and Kimberly Bousquet, director. Departing from the board are Jennifer Zwagerman, 2018-19 past president; Tylor Buswell, director; and Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, director.

Greg Hinton, vice president of sales at Rose Acre Farms in Seymour, Ind., was elected chairman of the board of directors of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. He previously served as vice chairman. Hinton has worked in various capacities on boards and committees including the Indiana State Egg Board, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, International Egg Commission, United Egg Producers, Indiana Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau. Also elected to the board are Mike Levengood as vice chairman, Mikell Fries as treasurer, and Jarod Morrison as secretary. John Prestage is now immediate past chairman. 

John Melle has announced his retirement as the assistant U.S. trade representative for the Western hemisphere at USTR. Melle joined USTR in 1988 and was appointed to his current position in March 2011. His responsibilities include developing, coordinating and implementing the United States’ trade policy for the Western hemisphere. In 2017, Melle was appointed chief negotiator for the trade talks, resulting in the United States - Mexico - Canada Agreement (USMCA). He helped managed the negotiations lead by the U.S. Trade Representative. Before joining USTR, Melle served two years at the Department of Energy. His last day at USTR is January 31.

Ron Farrell, co-founder of Farrell Growth Group, passed away on Jan. 20 at age 76. His career included leadership positions at Brayton Chemicals, Wilbur-Ellis, and farming in Minnesota during the 1980s. He started Farrell Growth Group in the mid-1990s. He was an advocate for how technology could improve agribusiness and was an active volunteer in the agriculture community. He is known for his interest in others, charisma, and his tireless work ethic.

Dairy Advocate James Samuel “Sam” Stone, passed away on Jan. 22 at the age of 81. Stone began his dairy cooperative career in 1969 with Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI), in San Antonio. His work in government relations began at AMPI in 1974. He worked on numerous farm bills, the Margin Protection Program, environmental regulations and trade deals as an advocate for the dairy industry. He served as vice president of government relations for Dairy Farmers of America and as treasurer of the Dairy Educational Political Action Committee. He also served in the U.S. Army’s 49th Armored Division in 1961 and 1962.

For more news, go to