Andrew Wheeler 2

Andrew Wheeler

Virginia governor-elect Glenn Youngkin has selected Andrew Wheeler as the next secretary of natural resources and Michael Rolband as the next director of environmental quality. Wheeler previously served as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under the Trump Administration. He began his career during the George H. W. Bush Administration as a special assistant in EPA’s Pollution Prevention and Toxics office as a career employee. Before joining Youngkin’s team, Rolband founded Wetland Studies and Solutions.

Delegates of the American Farm Bureau Federation voted Tuesday to give Zippy Duvall of Georgia a fourth term as the organization’s president. Scott VanderWal of South Dakota was also reelected and will serve a fourth term as vice president.

Marie Bucko is headed to USDA to serve as chief of staff of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, effective Jan. 31. Bucko comes to USDA from the National Pork Producers Council where she served as the science and technology adviser. Bucko has held leadership roles with the American Veterinary Medical Association and has also worked for the Food and Drug Administration as a science policy analyst in the office of foods and veterinary medicine.

The Pet Food Institute has added Betsy Flores as the association’s new senior vice president of public policy. Bringing 20 years of experience to the position, Flores most recently served as the director of research and promotion programs for USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

Marie Bucko

Marie Bucko

Groundswell Strategy, a food and ag consulting firm launched by former administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service Carmen Rottenberg, has brought on Anna Osterlind Jones as the senior director of government affairs. Most recently, Osterlind Jones was head of government affairs for Zymergen. She also spent time at USDA, where she served as chief of staff both for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs and for the Agricultural Marketing Service and worked on Capitol Hill for Sen. Roy Blunt from her home state of Missouri.

Vikram Agarwal has been named chief operating officer of Danone SA. He most recently served as a strategic adviser with Dole Packaged Foods. Before that, he was chief supply chain officer with Avon. Danone has also named Isabelle Esser as chief research, innovation, quality and food safety officer. Most recently, she was the chief human resources officer with Barry Callebaut. Before that, she had a 25-year career in research and development at Unilever. Lastly, Danone promoted Henri Bruxelles to chief sustainability and strategic business development officer. Bruxelles previously served as COO of end-to-end design to delivery.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has elected Cathann Kress as the new board chair, serving a one-year term. She succeeds Celeste Clark, whose term expired. Kress joined the WKKF Board in 2016. She currently serves as the vice president for Agricultural Administration and dean, College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.

Betsy Flores

Betsy Flores

Cobb-Vantress has named Joyce Lee as its next president, succeeding interim president Stan Reid. Lee joins Cobb, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods, after serving as president of Elanco’s pet health and commercial operations business sector. Before joining Elanco, Lee was the president of Bayer Animal Health’s North American business segment and spent over 16 years at Zoetis.

The Council of Producers and Distributors of Agrotechnology has tapped Terry Kippley to be its next president. He succeeds Gary Halvorson, who has served as president since 2018. Beginning his career with Monsanto, Kippley brings over 35 years of experience to the position, most recently serving as president of Aceto Agricultural Chemicals. He was also a board member and past president of the Mid America CropLife Association.

The Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation Board has appointed Barbara Schaal as the new chair of the Board of Directors. Schaal is a tenured professor of biology at Washington University and also served as the Dean of Faculty. She also served as the first vice president of the US National Academy of Sciences for eight years. Schaal has served on the SoAR Foundation Board of Directors since 2019.

Larry Weber of the University of Iowa has been elected to serve as chair of America’s Watershed Initiative's board of directors. In addition, Dan Mecklenborg, of Ingram Barge Company, will serve as the board’s president. Weber holds the Edwin B. Green Chair in Hydraulics and is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Iowa. A founding member of the AWI Board, Mecklenborg most recently served as its chair from 2019-21. Other officers include: vice chair Rainy Inman Shorey of Caterpillar; vice chair Kirsten Wallace with the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association; treasurer Michael Reuter, The Nature Conservancy; and secretary Rachel Orf, National Corn Growers Association.

Barbara Schaal

Barbara Schaal

Elevate Ag has hired Hannah Latty as the new communications and policy manager. Latty is a May 2021 graduate of Indiana University Bloomington where she studied human biology. After graduation, she interned at Circular Indiana, formerly Indiana Recycling Coalition, where she worked on their communications, marketing, and policy projects. Elevate Ag has also brought on Carson Swofford as the new policy analyst. Swofford received his bachelor’s in environmental science and is currently working to get his master's in the same field at Indiana University Bloomington.

EARTHDAY.ORG has appointed Matthew Aruch as director of global education. Before joining EARTHDAY.ORG, Aruch was the assistant director of the College Park Scholars Science, Technology, and Society Program and senior lecturer in the A. James Clark Engineering School.

Jon White has joined United Producers as the company’s relationship and strategy officer for its Advanced Hog Marketing initiatives. Most recently, White served as the assistant director for Kalmbach Swine Management in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

Ed Czerwien passed away on Jan. 3, after a three-and-a-half-year battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. He was 71. Czerwien was born and raised in Ohio but lived all over the U.S. working in the agriculture industry. In his career, he worked for Fall River Feedlots in Hot Springs, South Dakota; Wilson and Company in Albert Lea, Minnesota; and Hayward Cooperative in Hayward, Minnesota. He later worked for Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association as a branch manager in Ripon, Wisconsin, and then was the general manager for the Saint Joseph Stockyards in St. Joseph, Missouri. He became a member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters in 2008 when he began working as a livestock and grain market news reporter for USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. After retiring from USDA, Czerwien formed CZ Cattle Market Analytics and provided broadcasters and publications with data about the marketplace. His personal interests included gardening, chuckwagon and cowboy cooking, grilling, and baking artisan breads. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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