Ted McKinney Official USDA Headshot

Ted McKinney

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has tapped Ted McKinney to be the organization’s new CEO. McKinney served as an undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs at USDA during the Trump Administration. The Indiana native succeeds Barb Glenn, who has served as NASDA's CEO since 2014. McKinney helped negotiate the "phase one" trade deal with China. Before his USDA appointment, he was director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. He also spent 19 years at Dow AgroSciences and 14 years at Elanco.

New York Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball is expected to be voted in as the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture President during the organization’s business meeting Wednesday. Ball is currently serving as vice president and would succeed Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles.

President Joe Biden has nominated civil rights lawyer Margo Schlanger to be USDA’s assistant secretary for civil rights. Schlanger teaches at the University of Michigan as a civil rights lawyer. She attended Yale University Law School and once clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Schlanger was the presidentially appointed civil rights officer for the Department of Homeland Security in 2010 and 2011, and she also has served as a trial attorney and senior trial attorney in the Justice Department's civil rights division.

Roger Cryan will join the American Farm Bureau Federation on Oct. 4 as the group's new chief economist. Cryan has served as the director of the economics division for the dairy program at USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service for the past nine years. He previously served as vice president for milk marketing and economics at the National Milk Producers Federation for 12 years.

Jaelith Hall-Rivera has accepted the role of associate deputy chief of USDA Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Branch. She has filled the role in an acting capacity since last year. Hall-Rivera began her federal career in 2001 with the Government Accountability Office as an analyst in the Natural Resources and Environment Division in Seattle.

Roger Cryan

Roger Cryan

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has appointed Kate Barlow to be the new agriculture policy adviser in his administration. Barlow served as lead agriculture policy adviser for the state's Republican senators, Cynthia Lummis and the late Mike Enzi. She most recently served as Lummis’ lead policy adviser on agriculture, food safety, trade, judiciary, labor, social issues and Indian affairs. Barlow replaces Joe Budd, who departed to attend law school. 

Morgan Beach is leaving the Pet Food Institute, where she serves as director of public affairs, and is heading back home to Missouri to work for Nestlé Purina in St. Louis, where she will be the regulatory and scientific affairs senior specialist. Before joining the Pet Food Institute two years ago, Beach worked for the National Milk Producers Federation as the trade policy manager.

Zac Hayburn has joined the U.S. Grains Council as the new global ethanol program coordinator, located in the organization’s D.C. office. Hayburn received a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Miami University in Ohio. He most recently served in AmeriCorps, where he helped coordinate food supply shipments and created curriculum for in-class learning.

Kris Pittard has joined the staff of Rep. Bobby Rush’s, D-Ill., office as a senior policy adviser. Pittard comes from Rep. Sean Casten’s, D-Ill., office where he was a senior legislative assistant. Pittard covers the portfolio for energy, environmental protection, public lands and natural resources, science and technology, transportation and public works.

Mary-Carter Downing has been promoted to legislative aide in the office of Rep. James Comer, R-Ky. Downing helps work on the portfolio for international affairs, science and technology, small business, and telecommunications. Downing was previously a legislative correspondent in Comer’s office.

Jade Means has been elevated to legislative assistant from legislative correspondent in the office of Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla. Means covers the portfolio for animal welfare issues, energy, environmental protection, public lands and natural resources, and science and technology.

Senn Boswell is now a legislative aide in the office of Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. He previously was a staff assistant. Boswell works on the immigration, labor and employment, and small business portfolio.

Lisa Safarian

Lisa Nunez Safarian

Will Gibson has been promoted to deputy press secretary for Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind. Gibson was previously a legislative correspondent in Braun’s office.

Lisa Nunez Safarian has been tapped to serve on Pivot Bio’s board of directors. Safarian most recently served as president Bayer Crop Science, North America. Before that, she was vice president of North America for Monsanto.

Dan Glickman and Jim Borel have been asked to sit on the board of directors for GOOD Meat, a division of Eat Just. Glickman served as the secretary of agriculture from 1995-2001. Before that, he represented the 4th Congressional District of Kansas for 18 years in the House of Representatives. He currently serves as the executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program. Borel is the former executive vice president of DuPont, where he worked for 18 years. Most recently, he has served as an outside director for the Renewable Energy Group and Farmers Edge, and also serves as an independent board chair for Neogen Corporation.

Thu ‘Annelise’ Nguyen has been tapped to be the associate dean of research at Texas Tech University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Nguyen was a founding faculty member of the school and is a professor of toxicology.

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