Curt Hudnutt has been tapped as the new president and chief executive officer of American AgCredit. He succeeds Byron Enix who has been with the Farm Credit System for 37 years, the past seven of which he served as president and CEO. Hudnutt previously served as head of rural banking for North America at Rabo Agrifinance.
Roland Fumasi will lead Rabobank’s RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness team in North America. Fumasi joined Rabobank as an analyst in 2014, and in 2017 was appointed manager of the Fresno, Calif., RaboResearch team. He most recently served as a senior fresh produce and tree nut analyst. Before joining Rabobank, Fumasi worked with Utility Fleet Sales Ltd., as the vice president of marketing and finance.
FMC Corporation announced that Dr. Karen Totland, vice president, Procurement, Sustainability and Global Facilities, has been appointed to the newly created role of vice president and chief sustainability officer. Thaisa Hugenneyer, director of Business Process Transformation, has been elected vice president, Procurement and Global Facilities. Totland and Hugenneyer will report to Mark Douglas, president and CEO, effective January 1, 2021.
Index Fresh has promoted John Dmytriw to vice president of business development. Dmytriw joined the avocado company in 2008, and most recently was senior business specialist.
The Produce Marketing Association has selected six new industry leaders to sit on its board of directors. The new members are as follows: Alan Aguirre Ibarra, CEO of Grupo Alta and Divine Flavor LLC; Amelie Aust, Co-CEO and second-generation owner at Fall Creek; Nikki Cossio, founder and CEO of Measure to Improve; Amy Gates, former president of Frontera Produce of Edinburg, Texas; Daniel Mathieson, chief executive of Zespri; and Jim Richter, president and CEO of Amerifresh in Scottsdale, Ariz. The PMA Board will be led by chair Dwight Ferguson, president and CEO of Naturipe Farms.
Trevor Suslow has decided to step down from his full-time duties as vice president of produce safety at the Produce Marketing Association. He will remain engaged with PMA on a part-time basis and will also return to UC Davis as an emeritus extension research specialist. Suslow has been with the organization for the past two years. Suslow’s last day of full-time employment at PMA will be Dec. 1., and a search will begin to identify Suslow’s replacement in the coming weeks.
Megan Nelson has left the American Farm Bureau Federation where she worked as an economic analyst focused on rural and global development, infrastructure, and tax issues. She has taken a new job with Ardent Eagle Solutions as a trade research analyst/evaluator.
Tyler Davis has left the Arizona Farm Bureau where he worked as the government relations manager.
USDA has appointed 13 members, 13 alternate members, and one adviser to serve on The Cotton Board. The newly appointed members are: Ben Guthrie, La.; and Thomas Hayes III, Miss. The newly appointed alternate members are: Matthew Cauzza, Calif.; Justin Cave, Texas; and Susanne St. Onge-Simpson, Calif. Reappointed members are: Pace Hindsley, Ark.; Dustin Mancebo, Calif.; David Dunlow, N.C.; Bryan Patterson, Texas; Debra Barrett, Texas; Sigi Valverde, Texas; Chuck Ward, N.C.; Scott Johnson, Calif.; Akiko Inui, N.Y.; Laurie Sutandar, Texas; and Debi Gregg, Calif. Reappointed alternate members are: Rafe Banks, Ark.; Rebecca Thom, La.; Patrick Johnson, Miss.; Kent Smith, N.C.; Michael Popp, Texas; Jon Jones, Texas; James McKinnon, N.Y.; Dean Draughn, Md.; Barbara Buhr, Conn.; and Stefanie Rotta, Mich. Jennifer Pisula, Del., has been appointed to serve in an importer alternate position and Willie Scott, Ga., was appointed to an adviser position term.
Steven L. Kopperud, former journalist and lobbyist who created a platform for livestock and poultry industries to resist “animal rights” and vegetarian critics, died unexpectedly Oct. 19. He was 69. He began his career as a journalist reporting for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and San Diego Union-Tribune and then joined Miller Publishing Company. He made his way out to D.C. to write for the Feedstuffs newspaper, and later became a bureau chief for the American Broadcasting Company. Kopperud then moved to the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) in the 1980s where he was the senior vice president and lead lobbyist. He also founded the Animal Industry Foundation, now known as the Animal Agriculture Alliance. In 2000, he joined Policy Directions, a government affairs consulting firm representing AFIA and a range of other food and agriculture interests. Sixteen years later, he launched his own firm, SLK Strategies, with clients including Fortune 500 companies and national trade associations. A prolific blogger and writer, Kopperud also spread his defense of animal agriculture and food technology internationally, speaking in Europe, Canada, China, Australia and Latin America. He described his career for Agri-Pulse in 2018 in a “Meet the Farm Hand” video interview.
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