Wayne Stoskopf has joined the National Corn Growers Association as the new director for public policy for risk management and tax. Stoskopf comes to NCGA from the Senate Ag Committee where he served as a senior professional staff member under Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. He oversaw commodity programs, crop insurance, disaster, and grain standards programs. 

Tricia Kovacs has been appointed to serve as the deputy administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Transportation and Marketing program. Kovacs first joined AMS in 2016 as the local and regional food systems policy adviser. Before joining USDA, Kovacs managed regional market programs at the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Wayne Stoskopf

Wayne Stoskopf

Andrew Jerome has joined the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) as director of external and member communications. Jerome joins IDFA from Michael Torrey Associates, where he served as a director. He provided policy, communications guidance, and representation to food companies, trade associations, farm groups, and universities. Before that, Jerome was previously the communications director for the National Farmers Union.

Mark Heising has been tapped to serve as chairman-elect of the board of the Environmental Defense Fund. Heising is the founder and a managing director of Medley Partners, an investment firm based in San Francisco. Heising has served as a board member since 2011 and succeeds Carl Ferenbach, who has served as board chair since 2009. 

David Rardin has left the office of Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, where he served as the legislative director covering the portfolio for energy, environment, tax, trade, interior, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Johnson’s office is not hiring a new legislative director but Sam Hattrup has taken over the portfolio for energy, environment and interior; Jessica Weltge has taken over the portfolio for trade and tax; and Laura Wilson has taken over the Army Corps of Engineers portfolio.

Michael Johnson has joined the staff of Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. as the new senior policy adviser covering the agriculture, public lands, animal welfare and environment portfolio. He takes the portfolio from Ken Rooney who left Udall’s office as a legislative assistant.

Andrew Jerome

Andrew Jerome

Emily Nosse-Leirer is the new legislative assistant for Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., covering the portfolio for rural development. 

Hector Colon has been promoted to senior legislative assistant for Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y. Colon covers the portfolio for agriculture, animal welfare, small business, and commerce.

Sanjay Reddy is now a legislative aide covering the animal welfare portfolio for Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Mich. Reddy previously was a legislative correspondent.

Justin Discigil has joined the staff for Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, as the new communications director. He previously served as a press secretary for Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. 

Chelsea Glynn has moved from legislative aide to legislative assistant for Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., covering the environmental protection, natural resources, and telecommunications portfolio. 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has hired Callie Strock as a new press secretary focusing on technology and telecommunication issues and has promoted SK Bowen to press secretary focusing on health care and oversight issues.

Jess Wysocky has been promoted to a legislative aide covering the small business and immigration portfolio for Rep. Harley Rouda, D-Calif.

Katie Mazzola has left the office of Rep. Rob Wittman, R-Va., where she served as a legislative aide working on animal welfare and small business issues.

Sam Taylor has left the office of Rep. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, where he served as the communications director. Taylor started a new job as a managing associate for CLS Strategies. Arrington’s office is currently seeking a new communications director.

The University of California, Davis, has tapped professors Li Tian and Cameron Carter as co-directors of the new Cannabis & Hemp Research Center. Tian is a plant sciences professor known for her research with phytonutrients, plant-based chemicals that can prevent diseases and bring other health benefits. Carter has a background in schizophrenia and mental health research, and was director of the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience from 2009 to 2016 and is now the director of the UC Davis Behavioral Health Center of Excellence.

Chris Radatz has announced he will retire as the Minnesota Farm Bureau's executive director, effective June 1. Radatz joined MFB in 1976, and has served as executive director since July 2013.

The Western Caucus has added three new individuals to its leadership team for 2020. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., has been selected to serve as vice chairman for defense and veteran affairs. Rep. Garrett Graves, R-La., has been tapped to serve as vice chairman for oceans and ocean energy; and Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, will be vice chairman for federal lands and new energy opportunity. You can access the complete membership page here.

Bob Spitze

Robert Spitze

The National Bison Association elected a new slate of officers. Donnis Baggett was elected as the association's new president replacing Dick Gehring who will serve as immediate past president. Alan Douglas was elected vice president, Joe Graham secretary/treasurer, and Chad Kremer director at large.

Robert Spitze, University of Illinois professor of agricultural economics, passed away Jan. 21. Spitze served a 30-year tenure at the University of Illinois, first joining the staff in 1960. He retired as an emeritus professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics in 1992. After retirement, Spitze served as the first visiting professor of public policy at the Economic Research Service in Washington D.C. He served as chairman of the Interregional Economics Research Policy Project and National Task Force on Policies and Small Firsts and was a reviewer of USDA agricultural competitive research grants from 1992-1996. Spitze was an officer lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Amphibious Corps, Pacific Area, from 1943 to 1946. After returning from the war, he received a B.S. in agricultural economics from the University of Arkansas in 1947 and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1954.

For more news, go to www.agri-pulse.com.