Ben Famous

Ben Famous

House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson has hired Chu-Yuan Hwang as a senior counsel to the Committee. Hwang previously worked as an attorney for the Office of the General Counsel at USDA, touching on issues related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other domestic nutrition assistance programs. Before joining USDA, Hwang worked as an associate for a law firm in Washington, D.C., practicing labor and employment law.

Ben Famous has joined the Glover Park Group as the new vice president of strategic communications. Famous most recently worked as the head of strategic communications for food and restaurant group CAVA and previously worked as the communications director for the Senate Ag Committee.

Petya Sechanova has been tapped to lead Covantis as the company’s new CEO. Sechanova most recently served as the trade operations leader for Cargill, a company she has been with for the past 11 years.

Farm Journal has partnered with Aimpoint Research in a strategic alliance that will combine assets to create Farm Reach Vision. In this new alliance, Doug Edge has been promoted to senior vice president of business solutions at Farm Journal. Last week, we incorrectly reported Edge was leaving Farm Journal and moving to Aimpoint Research. 

Farm Foundation has hired Martha King as the new vice president of programs and projects. King co-owns Finbery Inc., a family farm located in Illinois. King has worked in academia at St. Louis University, Loyola University, and currently serves as the assistant dean and executive director for the biological sciences division in the office of academic affairs at the University of Chicago.

Riceland Foods has tapped Ben Noble to serve as vice president and COO for the farmer-owned cooperative. Noble first joined Riceland as vice president of marketing and strategy in September 2017, then added the role of vice president of sales in August 2018.

Thomas Mills has moved to the office of Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., as a legislative assistant. He covers the portfolio of agriculture, trade, labor, futures trading, nutrition, environment, Army Corp of Engineers, energy, and forestry. Mills previously worked at EPA as the deputy public engagement director.

Josh Cohen has been promoted to chief of staff for Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., and Bradley Solyan has been promoted to legislative director. Solyan covers the portfolio for agriculture and food, animals, energy, environmental protection, transportation, telecommunications, and public lands and natural resources.

Jordan Howard now serves as a legislative assistant for Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala. Howard covers the portfolio for transportation and public works.

Kyle Jacobs has been promoted to senior legislative assistant and has added the role of press secretary for Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn. Jacobs covers the portfolio for appropriations, energy, environmental protection, immigration, natural resources, and small business.

Greg Adams will cover the foreign affairs portfolio for Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., as her new legislative director. Adams previously worked for integrated development group Locus as managing director.

Mitchel Hochberg now works for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., as a legislative assistant covering the small business and international affairs portfolio. Hochberg previously worked for Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.

Thomas Mills

Thomas Mills

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, has promoted Nikolai Hood to legislative assistant covering the small business portfolio.

Lynn Hatcher now serves as the communications director to Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.V.

Jason Noble has joined the team of Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, as a senior communications adviser. Noble previously worked on Elizabeth Warren’s campaign as the Iowa communications director.

Heidi Todacheene now works as a legislative counsel to Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M. She covers agriculture and food, animal welfare, and small business issues.

Michael Case moved up to legislative assistant from aide for Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky. Case covers the natural resources, transportation, public lands, and public works portfolio.

Annie Orloff has been elevated to deputy communications director for Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. She previously was working in the role of press secretary.

John Witherspoon now works as the legislative director for Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn. He covers the portfolio of energy and small business.

Heather Smith has moved to the office of Rep. William Timmons, R-S.C., as the new communications director. Smith previously was the communications director for Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz.

Darwin Stolte

Darwin Stolte

Fred Adams, founder of Adams Egg Company in 1957, passed away on March 29, at the age of 88. Adams Egg Company was incorporated in 1969 as Cal-Maine Foods, in Jackson, Miss. Adams served as chairman and CEO of the company until 2012, when he was named chairman emeritus. Throughout his career, Adams served as a director of National Egg Company, United Egg Producers, U. S. Egg Marketers, Egg Clearinghouse, and the Mississippi Poultry Association. 

Past president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council, Darwin Stolte, passed away at the age of 86. Stolte served as USGC president and CEO from 1970 to 1989. Stolte was a graduate of the University of South Dakota and after graduation served in the United States Army. He started with the Grains Council in 1966 as the livestock development specialist for Europe, based in Rome. During his career, Stolte participated in discussions on agricultural trade with the Soviet Union, and was a key figure in the opening of agricultural relations with China in 1979. 

For more news, go to