President Joe Biden has named three new state executive directors for the Agriculture Department's Farm Service Agency and six state USDA Rural Development directors. The new FSA leaders are: Julia Wickard, Indiana; Jeffrey Holmes, New Hampshire; and Steve Dick, South Dakota. New RD directors are: Deidre Deculus Robert, Louisiana; Lucas Ingvoldstad, Nevada; Erin Oban, North Dakota; Nikki Gronli, South Dakota; Perry Hickman, Virginia; and Ryan Thorn, West Virginia.
Elaine Trevino has withdrawn from the nomination process to be the next chief agricultural trade negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative . Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said Trevino, former president of the Almond Alliance of California and former deputy secretary for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, will still get a job in the Biden administration, but not as chief agricultural trade negotiator.
Chase Adams is headed to the National Pork Producers Council to be the group’s manager of congressional relations. Adams is currently the senior information and policy director for the American Sheep Industry Association and also previously handled communications for the Washington office of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
Mackenzie Boubin is joining the U.S. Grains Council on May 2 as the new director of global ethanol export development. She succeeds Brian Healy, who held a similar position for the council. Boubin currently serves as the biofuels and industry relations director at the Minnesota Corn Growers Association. Before joining Minnesota Corn, Boubin was a refined fuels sales account representative at CHS and the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association. She also served as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Founder of Impossible Foods Pat Brown has announced he is stepping down as chief executive officer. He will be succeeded by Peter McGuiness, president and chief operating officer at Chobani, effective April 4.
Katherine Thomas has joined the Republican staff of the Senate Ag Committee as professional staff handling the nutrition portfolio. Thomas previously served as a legislative assistant on the committee during the tenure of former Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan. She most recently served as a legislative assistant in the office of Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., where she handled agriculture and trade.
Courtney Craig is the new agriculture legislative assistant to Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa. She previously served as Feenstra’s executive assistant and also worked on his campaign. Craig succeeds Gary Wynne, who is moving back to the Midwest to help with spring planting on the family farm, then will start grad school or a new job in the fall. Wynne previously worked in the office of Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
Katherine Robbins now serves as the deputy press secretary for Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. She previously served in the office of House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, La., as a press assistant. Before that, she was a staff assistant to Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz.
The Dairy Business Association and Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative have hired Jeremy Henkels as the new managing director. Henkels most recently was executive vice president-shared services for Agfinity.
The Food Research & Action Center has added Nancy Dalton and Ellen Buchman to its board of directors. Dalton currently works for Amazon as the head of community partnerships for underserved populations. She also leads the company’s community access program, which drives awareness and adoption of Amazon’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program acceptance initiative. Buchman serves as the president of The Opportunity Agenda. Before TOA, Buchman served as executive vice president for field and communications at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership has hired Jamelle Ellis as the organization’s new senior scientist. Ellis previously founded and ran Empowerment Strategies, an environmental sustainability consulting firm. She brings more than 20 years of research experience focused on environmental contaminant delineation, exposures, and human health impacts. She has also served as the technical liaison for remediation of hazardous waste at Department of Defense sites.
Russ Weathers has retired as chairman of the Agriculture Future of America board of directors, and current board member Gwyn Schramm has been named his successor. Schramm is the senior vice president of strategic accounts and licensing at Bayer Crop Science North America. Her term as board chair will end in February 2024.
Solutions from the Land has selected eight new farmer envoys to help share SfL’s vision. The new farmer envoy cohorts are: Jocelyn Anderson, California; Kyle Bridgeforth, Alabama; Brad Doyle, Arkansas; Ben LaCross, Michigan; Amelia Levin Kent, Louisiana; Allyson Maxwell, Michigan; Verity Ulibarri, New Mexico; and Shelby Watson-Hampton, Maryland.
Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, passed away on March 18. He was 88. Young began his career on Capitol Hill in 1973 after winning a special election to serve Alaska’s at-large district. Young served as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee from 1995 to 2001 and then as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2001-2007. He later returned to the Natural Resources Committee and was Ranking Member. He was also the Dean of the House and the longest serving member of the current Congress.
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