President Joe Biden announced new Department of Agriculture leaders, naming three new state Farm Service Agency leaders and eight individuals to head state Rural Development offices. The new FSA leaders include: Amy Knapp Pettit, Alaska; Janice Kolvet, Nevada, and Marcy Svenningsen, North Dakota. The RD directors include: Julia Hnilicka, Alaska; Chris Kanazawa, Hawaii; Terry Goodin, Indiana; Scott Soares, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut; Colleen Landkamer, Minnesota; Trina George, Mississippi; Jane Asselta, New Jersey, and Kenneth Corn, Oklahoma.

Cathy BurnsCathy Burns

Cathy Burns will become the singular CEO of the International Fresh Produce Association. Burns was a co-CEO of the organization alongside Tom Stenzel, who is transitioning to a consulting role and will continue to work with Burns through June 2022. Burns previously served as the CEO of the Produce Marketing Association, which merged with the United Fresh Produce Association, of which Stenzel was CEO.

Cargill has named four new leaders to its executive team. Jennifer Hartsock joins Cargill as its new chief information and digital officer. Hartsock served as a chief information officer and a member of the executive leadership team at Baker Hughes. Hartsock succeeds Justin Kershaw, who retires as CIO after 10 years with the company. Roger Watchorn is joining the company's executive team as the leader of Cargill's Agriculture Supply Chains business, which also includes the company's Ocean Transportation and World Trading Group. He also will lead the company's corporate trading strategy. Watchorn joined the company in 1994, and previously served as CASC North America group leader. He succeeds Joe Stone, who will retire after 37 years with the company. Before leading Cargill's agriculture supply chain business, Stone was responsible for the animal nutrition business. Ross Hamou-Jennings is the company's new chair of Asia Pacific. He has been based in Singapore since 2002, leading the global trade and capital markets business from Asia. Hamou-Jennings succeeds Marcel Smits, who will retire after nine years with the company. Smits joined Cargill in 2013 as chief financial officer and in 2018 assumed his current responsibilities as chair of Asia Pacific and supervisor of TCM and metals and head of corporate strategy and development. These leadership changes went into effect on March 1.

Stephanie Lundquist is joining Cargill as the company's new chief human resources officer. She spent 16 years with leading retailer and Cargill customer, Target, most recently leading the food and beverage business. Lundquist succeeds Myriam Beatove, who joined Cargill in 2009. This leadership change is effective April 4. 

Gena Perry has been tapped as the new executive director of the American Soybean Association's World Initiative for Soy in Human Health program. Perry joined WISHH in 2019 as project director of its Department of Agriculture-funded Food for Progress poultry project in Ghana and most recently served as project director for global strategies. Before joining WISHH, she lived and worked in West Africa as a liaison for AgriCorps, and 4-H Ghana then took on the role of AgriCorps chief of staff.

Megan Niederwerder is the new associate director of the Swine Health Information Center, effective April 1. Niederwerder most recently worked at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University as an assistant professor in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology.

Sigrid Johannes has taken on a new role at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, splitting her time between NCBA and Public Lands Council. Her new title is associate director of government affairs and federal lands. She was previously associate director of policy communications.

Chance Hunley is the new policy adviser for Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D. handling the agriculture portfolio. Hunley previously worked for Rep. Jake LaTurner, R-Kan., as his agriculture legislative assistant. Hunley also worked on the Republican staff of the Senate Ag Committee under then-chairman Pat Roberts.

Rosy Brummette is heading back to Capitol Hill to work for Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., as his ag, natural resources and public lands policy adviser. Brummette joins Bennet's staff after working at the National Corn Growers Association as the manager of public policy for market development and renewable fuels. Brummette also worked on the Senate Ag Committee under then-ranking member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., as a policy analyst focusing on biofuels, energy, agriculture conservation and climate issues.

Rosalyn Brummette.JPEGRosy BrummetteThe National Turkey Federation has elected its 2022 officer team. Ronnie Parker of Circle S Ranch was tapped to be the new chairman. Steve Lykken of Jennie-O Turkey Store will serve as vice chairman and John Zimmerman of P&J Products as secretary-treasurer. Phil Seger of Farbest Farms will move into the role of immediate past chairman.

The National Potato Council has elected Jared Balcom of Pasco, Washington, to serve as NPC’s 2022 president. Balcom is the owner of a fourth-generation potato growing and fresh packing company Balcom and Moe. He previously was NPC’s first vice president and vice president of the trade affairs committee. RJ Andrus, Idaho, was elected first vice president and vice president of legislative affairs. Bob Mattive, Colorado, was tapped to serve as vice president, environmental affairs. Ted Tschirky, Washington, is now vice president, trade affairs. Ben Sklarczyk, Michigan, is the new vice president, finance, and Dean Gibson, Idaho, is the vice president, grower outreach and industry research. The 2021 President, Dominic LaJoie, Maine, will continue to serve on the executive committee as the immediate past president.

Mike Popowycz is the new CEO of Case Farms. Popowycz first joined Case Farms in 1987 and most recently served as CFO. He will retain his position as vice chairman. Joseph “Joey” Long has been tapped as the new CFO and Samuel Caudle as vice president and general manager of the company’s Ohio division. Long has been with Case Farms since 2003 and most recently served as vice president of finance. Caudle has been with the company since 1990 and most recently served as vice president and general manager of the Winesburg, Ohio, facility.

Philip "Phil" Chase Abbott died in his home in Seattle, Washington, on Feb. 16., after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 73. Abbott attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, earning a B.S. and M.S in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Economics. Following graduation, Abbott taught in the Economics Department at Northeastern University for five years before moving to West Lafayette, Indiana, to teach and research at Purdue University in the Agricultural Economics Department until his retirement in 2017. He researched both international trade and international agricultural development.

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