Karla ThiemanKarla Thieman, JBS USA


Chavonda Jacobs-Young was confirmed by the Senate, 95-4, on Tuesday to become USDA’s chief scientist and undersecretary for research, education and economics. 

She has been serving as the administrator of the Agricultural Research Service. She has been at USDA for the last two decades serving in leadership positions such as acting director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture and acting deputy undersecretary for the REE mission area.

JBS USA has named Karla Thieman senior vice president, public policy and government affairs. In this newly created role, she will have oversight of U.S. public policy and government relations strategies for JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation. A company release says Thieman will “lead the establishment of a new office and government relations team,” but a JBS spokesperson tells Agri-Pulse the company plans to continue its existing relationship with The Keys Group.

Thieman joins JBS USA from Finsbury Glover Hering, where she served as a partner in the food and agriculture division in their Washington office. Thieman served as chief of staff to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during the Obama administration. Before that, Thieman served as senior professional staff on the Senate Agriculture Committee under the leadership of three committee chairs, including Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. 

Sarah Gallo has joined the Consumer Brands Association as the new vice president of product policy. Gallo comes to CBA from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, where she served as the vice president of agriculture and environment. Before that, she worked for CHS as the director of federal affairs. Gallo also has Capitol Hill experience and has worked for the National Corn Growers Association and the National Farmers Union. You can watch Gallo’s Meet the Farm Hand interview here

Kandis Boyd has been tapped as the new director of the Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program. Boyd brings nearly 30 years of experience in environmental and atmospheric science. She previously served as the strategic adviser for the National Science Foundation’s Office of Equity and Civil Rights.

Kandis Boyd.jpgKandis Boyd, Chesapeake Bay Program Aline DeLucia has left BASF, where she was the head of public and government affairs, Agricultural Solutions North America. DeLucia has been tapped to lead AgSpire as the company’s new CEO. AgSpire is a company focused on providing customized solutions for land-use outcomes. Before joining BASF, DeLucia was a congressional aide and worked for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and Syngenta. 

New York Republican Rep. Chris Jacobs announced he will not run for reelection. A resident of Buffalo, New York, Jacobs represents the 23rd District in the northwest corner of the state. He sits on the House Agriculture Committee and serves on the Subcommittee for Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credits. Jacobs also serves in the House Rural Broadband Caucus. 

Deere & Company has selected Ryan Campbell to serve as president, worldwide construction and forestry and power systems. He previously served as the company’s chief financial officer. He succeeds John Stone, who is leaving the company. Rajesh Kalathur has added chief financial officer of the company to his title. He will continue in his role as president of John Deere Financial and chief information officer.

Molly Jenkins has joined Purple Strategies as a manager. Jenkins previously worked on Capitol Hill for Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Calif., as his communications director. Before that, she worked on the House Energy and Commerce Committee as the press secretary for Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.

American Farmland Trust has named Andrew Bahrenburg as its new deputy policy director. Most recently, Bahrenburg served as a legislative assistant to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., where he covered the portfolio for agriculture and climate change. Before that, Bahrenburg served as the national policy director for the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Aline DeLucia.jpegAline DeLucia, AgSpire Robert White now serves as the director of business development and operations for Corya Management. Most recently, White was the director of national government relations for the Indiana Farm Bureau. White also served as USDA’s state director of rural development for Indiana during the Bush administration. 
Keri Carstens has been named chief operating officer of Jord BioScience. Carstens previously led global regulatory strategy for Corteva Agriscience.

Nick Levendofsky is the new executive director of the Kansas Farmers Union. He previously worked for the Wisconsin Farmers Union as the director of government relations. 

Maureen Feck has accepted the role of show director for Commodity Classic. Feck comes to Commodity Classic from the True Value Co., where she served as senior director of meetings and events.

Chloe Carson has joined Smithfield Foods as the company’s digital communications manager. Carson previously worked at the Iowa Department of Agriculture as the communications director. Before that, she was with the National Pork Producers Council as the director of digital communications. 

Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., has hired Heidi Borg as his new agriculture liaison. Borg previously served as an agriculture liaison for the Pillen for Governor campaign. Before that, she was an aide to Nebraska state Sen. Julie Slama.

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The U.S. Grains Council has brought on Teresa Myers as the council’s new meeting manager. Previously, Myers served as the conference manager for the American Society of Plant Biologists and also has experience with the American Nurses Association.

Katrina Stacey is settling into her new role as the communications manager for Field to Market. Stacey previously worked for the National Association of Conservation Districts as its communications coordinator.

Illinois Soybean Association has hired Jenna Siegel as its new market development coordinator. Siegel is a May 2022 graduate of Iowa State University, where she majored in agricultural business and minored in animal science.

Sen. Roger Marshall’s, R-Kan., state director, Katie Sawyer, has been named Kansas gubernatorial candidate Derek Schmidt’s running mate. Sawyer has worked for McPherson College as the director of career services and Rabo AgriFinance as a field marketing manager and relationship analyst. 

Hugh Grant has been appointed to serve on the board of directors for CIBO Technologies. Grant brings almost 40 years of experience working in the agriculture industry. He served in a variety of roles at Monsanto, including executive vice president, chief operating officer and president. He held the roles of chairman and CEO from 2003 until his departure in 2018, after successfully leading the $60 billion sale to Bayer. 

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has elected new leaders to serve on its board of directors for the 2022-2023 year. Ellen Shanley has been elected as the new president. She succeeds Kevin Sauer, who has moved to the role of past president. Elected to serve as president-elect is Lauri Wright. A full list of all board members can be found here

Reece Langley said he has resigned from the National Cotton Council “due to personal health and well-being matters in his family that need his attention at this time.” Langley served as the vice president of Washington operations for NCC. 

After 35 years with the American Farm Bureau Federation, John Earl has retired from the organization. Earl worked as the director of technical resources and before that was the chief engineer for AFBF. 

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