Ambassador Terry Branstad

Ambassador Terry Branstad

Ambassador Terry Branstad has announced he is stepping down from being the top U.S. representative in Beijing, effective in early October. The former six-term governor of Iowa first arrived in Beijing in 2017 and has overseen American initiatives there including the "phase one" trade deal with China. There's more on Branstad's tenure on

Bayer’s supervisory board, under new chairman Norbert Winkeljohann, has extended the contract of Werner Baumann for another three years to serve as the company’s CEO. Baumann took the helm of Bayer in 2016, right around the time the company was looking at acquiring Monsanto, an idea Baumann strongly supported. Throughout his career with Bayer, Baumann has taken a lot of heat for the U.S. lawsuits claiming the Roundup weedkiller causes cancer. Baumann’s contract has been extended to the end of April 2024.

Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Executive Vice President and financial services chief, has been tapped to take over as the European Union's new trade commissioner. Dombrovskis succeeds Ireland's Phil Hogan.

Rosy Brummette has left Capitol Hill and joined the staff of the National Corn Growers Association. Brummette is the new manager of public policy for market development and renewable fuels. Brummette most recently served as a policy analyst for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry under Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. In this role, she focused on biofuels, energy, agriculture conservation and climate issues. 

Malikha Daniels has been promoted to policy analyst from legislative assistant for Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., on the House Agriculture Committee. She handles the portfolio for biotechnology, pesticides, food safety, food waste, livestock, dairy, aquaculture, trade, specialty crops and organic, and also serves on the research team.

Kelly Collins now serves as a senior policy adviser to Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., covering the portfolio for animal welfare, environmental protection, public lands and natural resources. She previously served in the Trump Administration as a special assistant on the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Jake Rascoff has been elevated to legislative assistant for Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. He covers the portfolio for energy and environmental protection.

Noah Barger is now the legislative director for Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., covering the portfolio for foreign trade, immigration, international affairs, and taxation.

Athina Kanioura has been named executive vice president and chief strategy and transformation officer at PepsiCo Inc., overseeing the company’s digitalization and data strategy. Kanioura joins the company from Accenture, where most recently she was chief analytics officer and global head of applied intelligence, specializing in artificial intelligence and analytics.

Jessie Atchison has joined the staff at Farm Foundation as the new vice president of strategic marketing and communications. Bringing 20 years of experience to her new role, Atchison previously led marketing for Tillable, an agriculture industry startup focused onrevolutionizing the way farmland is acquired, rented and cared for. Before that, she spent several years leading client engagements for a Chicago-area marketing agency.

The Mid America CropLife Association has elected new officers to serve for 2020-2021. The new officers and their positions are as follows: President Lindsey Jackson, Epogee; Vice President Rodney Schmidt, Bayer CropScience; and Secretary/Treasurer Joe Olson, Helena Agri-Enterprises LLC. Tim Riley, AMVAC, will serve as immediate past president.

Rosy Brummette

Rosy Brummette

After 34 years serving the corn industry, Missouri Corn Merchandising Council and Missouri Corn Growers Association Chief Executive Officer Gary Marshall will be shifting into retirement effective April 2021. Marshall started his career with Missouri Corn in 1986 and accepted the organizations’ executive director/CEO position in 1988. In his career, Marshall has fought for sound science in the regulatory process through his involvement with the Triazine Network, has served on the board of directors for the U.S. Grains Council, has been on several committees for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, and is on the board of directors for the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (MU-CAFNR) Foundation.

The American Coalition for Ethanol announced the re-election of several board members at its annual virtual business meeting. The members re-elected are as follows: Roger Berry, representing Nebraska Ethanol Board; Trevor Hinz, representing ICM, Inc.; David Kolsrud, representing Badger State Ethanol; Jan Lundebrek, representing Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company; Robert Walsh, representing South Dakota Corn Growers Association; and Chris Wilson, representing Mid-Missouri Energy. Gary Marshall of the Missouri Corn Growers Association and Greg Krissek of the Kansas Corn Growers Association, completed their service on the ACE board of directors. Josh Roe was elected to a three-year term representing Kansas Corn.

Michael Birger has been appointed to president and chief executive officer of Midwestern BioAg. Birger most recently worked as vice president of strategy and corporate development for Compass, where he was responsible for driving strategic growth and increasing value through sourcing and structuring corporate investments in domestic and international agriculture. Birger brings over 20 years of experience involving mergers, acquisition, divestitures and management of operating businesses and joint ventures.

John A. Schnittker, under secretary of agriculture under former President Lyndon B. Johnson and later an influential Washington farm policy consultant, died Sept. 13 at his home near Santa Ynez, Calif., of heart failure. He was 95. The Kansas native was a senior staff economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in 1958-59 and volunteered in the 1960 campaign of former President John F. Kennedy. He became senior staff adviser to the secretary of agriculture and later USDA chief economist. President Johnson named him under secretary, then the second highest position at USDA, in 1965. As acting secretary in 1967, Schnittker signed the International Grains Arrangement on behalf of the United States. To read more on Schnittker, click here.

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