EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has appointed John Busterud the new regional administrator for Region 9, overseeing EPA activities and operations in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada. Busterud brings over 30 years of experience as an environmental and energy attorney, most recently as the senior director and managing counsel for environment and real estate at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), in San Francisco, from 1985-2016. He is a retired U.S. Army Colonel, served as a board member for the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance, vice chair of the California Veterans Board and chair of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

American Egg Board (AEB) President and CEO Anne Alonzo has announced she is stepping down from the position in mid-April. Alonzo wrote in a letter to the board of directors that she was afforded a “unique opportunity to join a newly public agriculture company and lead its Washington, D.C., office.” Alonzo expressed she wants to aid in the transition process to find a successor and will stay on with AEB to help lead the Annual Board Meeting and the White House Easter Egg Roll before her departure. Alonzo declined to comment on her new employer.

Anne Alonzo

Anne Alonzo

Reana Kovalcik is leaving the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) at the end of the week. Kovalcik served as the associate director for communications and development. Serving as the interim press contact for NSAC is policy director Eric Deeble.

Bryan Durkin will step down as president of the CME Group in May. Durkin will then serve as a special adviser to the company, reporting to CME Group chairman and CEO Terry Duffy. Durkin is a 37-year veteran of the CME Group and started his career in 1982 as an investigator. 

FLM Harvest has hired Cristie Mather to serve as the new vice president of food. Mather previously led food and beverage partnerships at The Fiction Tribe and also served as a communications director with the Pear Bureau Northwest/USA Pears.

The American Soybean Association has selected Kyle Kunkler to join the policy team as director of government affairs, effective Feb. 20. Kunkler will focus on the biotech and crop protection portfolio. Kunkler previously worked for three years at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, managing federal government affairs on food, agriculture, energy and environmental policy. He has also worked for Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

Patrick Satalin has been promoted to chief of staff for Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. He previously served as the legislative director covering the appropriations, small business, telecommunications and international affairs portfolio. … Meagan Foster has been hired to replace Satalin as legislative director. She begins her new position at the end of the month, but Welch’s office has not yet determined which issues she is taking over. Foster previously served as a senior policy adviser to Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and also worked as vice president of government affairs for the USTelecom Association and was the director of government affairs for NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association. 

Ryan Williams has been promoted to legislative assistant for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Williams covers the portfolio for immigration, emergency disaster response, and transportation. He previously was a field representative.

Molly Carpenter has been elevated to legislative director covering the international affairs portfolio for Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho. She previously served as his military legislative assistant. 

Amy Kirkham now serves as a science policy adviser for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Ark. She previously served as a John A. Knauss Sea Grant Fellow in Murkowski’s office.

Marty Smith

Marty Smith

Marty Smith has been elected as the new president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). He replaces Jennifer Houston, 2019 NCBA president. Smith operates Smith Brothers-Wacahoota LLC, a cow-calf operation in Central Florida. Also elected to serve this upcoming year was Jerry Bohn of Kansas, president-elect; Don Schiefelbein of Minnesota, vice president; Todd Wilkinson of South Dakota, chair of the NCBA policy division; and Wyoming rancher Mark Eisele, policy vice chair.

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board has announced Jared BrackettHugh Sanburg and Norman Voyles Jr. are the new leaders of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board (CBB). Brackett, the 2019 vice chair, will now serve as the CBB’s Chair, and Sanburg will transition from his role as the 2019 secretary-treasurer to vice chair. Voyles, the newest member of the officer team, will take on Sanburg’s former responsibilities as secretary-treasurer. The three cattle producers were elected during the 2020 Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio last week.

Michael Crowder of West Richland, Wash., is the new president-elect of the National Association of Conservation Districts. He has a master’s degree in wildlife science from Purdue University and spent eight years as an adjunct professor at Washington State University. He’ll be sworn in as NACD’s president at the group’s annual meeting next year.

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture has selected new officers for the organization’s board of directors. Selected to serve as chair is Brandon Hunnicutt of the National Corn Growers Association. Jeremy Peters of the National Association of Conservation Districts will serve as vice chair, Diane Herndon of Nestlé Purina was chosen to serve as secretary, and Michelle French of ADM was elected to treasurer.

The American Sugarbeet Growers Association (ASGA) has elected new officers to its board of directors. Dan Younggren of Hallock, Minn., was elected president, Nate Hultgren of Raymond, Minn., was elected vice president, and LaMar Isaak of American Falls, Idaho, was elected treasurer. Younggren has served on the ASGA board of directors since 2011, most recently as vice president.

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