Soil scientist Dr. Rattan Lal has been selected as this year’s World Food Prize Laureate, receiving a $250,000 award for his work in promoting soils for sustainable development. Lal focused on techniques such as no-till, cover cropping, mulching and agroforestry, finding that these techniques protected the soil from elements, conserved water and returned nutrients, carbon and organic matter to the soil. The agricultural practices Lal cultivated are now at the heart of efforts to improve agriculture systems in the tropics and globally. To read more on Lal’s soil science career, click here.
Growers Edge Financial has appointed Tracy Linbo as its new executive vice president and chief commercial officer, driving the company’s commercial strategy and the continued development of its sales organization. Most recently, Linbo served as senior vice president of agronomy for farmer-owned Agtegra Cooperative and is an industry adviser to AgVend. She has also spent more than a decade at DuPont Pioneer in director-level roles focused on strategic planning and operational excellence.
Del Monte Fresh Produce has promoted one of its longtime employees, Ana Cristina Fonseca, to the newly created role of vice president of product management. Fonseca has been with the company for the past 28 years, and in her new role will lead the product management team to help enhance supply-chain capabilities. This change comes as Scott Owens, an industry veteran who headed up Del Monte's the banana, pineapple and melon programs, left the company on June 10.
Blaine Jacobson will retire from the Idaho Wheat Commission at the end of June after 18 years as its executive director. Jacobson will be replaced by Casey Chumrau, formerly the South America marketing manager and market analyst for U.S. Wheat Associates. Chumrau joined the commission in January to begin the transition. Jacobson plans to remain involved in the industry, volunteering on task forces and advisory committees.
The World Food Program USA has named Rebecca Middleton, executive director at the Alliance to End Hunger, as the new vice president of public policy and advocacy, effective July 6. Middleton will drive advocacy initiatives, advance food security policy and legislation, and develop key partnerships and coalitions within the food security community for the program. Middleton joined the Alliance to End Hunger in 2013, first serving as its chief operating officer and then as executive director since 2016.
Lyndsey Erb has started a new position as the director of industry relations at the U.S. Soybean Export Council. Erb worked the past nine years at the U.S. Grains Council, most recently working in the role of director of industry relations.
Gregory Angelo has joined the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Executive Office of the President as the new press secretary. Angelo previously served in the office of Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, as the communications director.
Rob Burgess is now the communications director for Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif. He previously served as a political strategist for RedRock Strategies.
Savannah Mitchell has been hired to be a legislative assistant for Rep. Jim Baird, R-Ind. She handles the portfolio for appropriations, commerce, environmental protection, public lands and natural resources, science and technology, telecommunications, transportation and public works. She previously was an attorney-advisor student trainee at the Defense Information Systems Agency.
Sarah Frey, president and CEO of Frey Farms and founder of Tsamma Watermelon Juice and Sarah’s Home Grown, was the honoree and featured speaker at the Women in Produce LIVE! general session held Tuesday, June 16, during the United Fresh LIVE! Conference. Frey Farms specializes in growing, packing, and shipping fresh market produce, including pumpkins and watermelons. The United Fresh celebration of Women in Produce held each year recognizes the contributions of all women working in the produce industry and selects one individual to share her personal experience of service.
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