The Department of Agriculture has promoted Brandon Chaderton to White House liaison in the Office of the Secretary. He had served as USDA’s deputy White House liaison since February 2021. Before that, he was director of human resources for the 2021 Presidential Inaugural Committee and was the human resources director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. 

USDA has also hired Samantha Joseph as the new senior adviser for faith-based initiatives in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Joseph previously served as the head of community outreach and vaccine equity at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Boston. Joseph also spent time on the campaigns of President Joe Biden, Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey.

Tyson Foods has terminated the employment of Chris Langholz, who was the company’s international group president. Langholz joined Tyson in 2019 to lead its international business. The company did not say why Langholz was let go; Tyson said it does not comment on personnel matters.

Mia Mulrennan has been named the chief people officer and a member of the International Dairy Foods Association’s executive team. Mulrennan spent the last decade as an organizational psychologist, consultant and executive focused on talent and human resources. In her career, she has served as the chief HR officer for Sun Country Airlines and the Star Restaurant Group.

U.S. Wheat Associates has hired Peter Laudeman as director of trade policy and Ralph Loos as director of communications. Laudeman had been political affairs manager for Corteva Agriscience, where he handled biotechnology issues and led the company’s carbon and ecosystem services advocacy. Laudeman previously was a legislative assistant with the National Corn Growers Association.

Loos has nearly 14 years of experience in agriculture communications, having worked at the U.S. Soybean Export Council, American Sheep Industry Association and U.S. Meat Export Federation.

Danielle Beck has left her post at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, where she was the senior executive director of government affairs. She'll start a new job in food and ag in September. 

Allison Crittenden has joined JBS as the senior director of government affairs. Her first day was Monday. She previously worked at the American Farm Bureau Federation as a director of government affairs handling issues including immigration. 

Allison_Crittenden_AFBF_300.jpgAllison Crittenden, JBS Jake Comer is the new vice president of market development and Mary Kate Munro now serves as the director of government relations for Growth Energy. Comer most recently worked at Casey’s, where he served as the director of retail fuels. Munro previously worked on Capitol Hill for Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, as a legislative assistant.


Carlos Suarez has joined the U.S. Grains Council’s D.C. office as the new manager of sustainability, policy and innovation. He will work to implement and oversee the council’s sustainability initiatives including the Corn Sustainability Assurance Protocol. Suarez previously served as USGC’s Latin America regional ethanol consultant. Before joining the council in 2019, Suarez worked for The Nature Conservancy as the associate director for business development in Latin America.

Ashley Johnson has joined the National Pork Producers Council as director of food policy. Johnson comes to NPPC from Zoetis, where she was a technical service veterinarian.

House Ag Committee Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., has promoted Victoria Maloch to communications director. Maloch joined the committee in 2021 as a legislative assistant and most recently served as the deputy communications director. Scott has also brought on Donovan Tate-Davis as a press assistant and Elaine Zhang as a staff assistant. Tate-Davis previously was an intern for Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill. Zhang most recently was a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow where she worked on American Indian agriculture and rural food systems.

Reana Kovalcik is no longer with the Organic Trade Association, where she served as the director of public affairs. OTA has announced Maggie McNeil, former director of media relations for OTA, will be the association's interim contact.

Emily Ibach has joined Pivot Bio as a senior manager of government relations. Ibach’s previous career experience includes a stint working in state affairs at Colorado Farm Bureau and most recently as a government relations director at Hy-Vee.

Andy Jarvis is set to join the Bezos Earth Fund as the director for the future of food. He announced the move on social media Monday. He comes to the fund from the Alliance of Biodiversity and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, where he was the associate director general. 

Syngenta Seeds has selected Linda Arnold Whaley as the new head of communications for its global and North American seed divisions. She replaces Amy Sarosiek, who left the company to pursue other opportunities. Before joining Syngenta in 2019, Whaley held roles with Monsanto, Bayer, and BASF. She most recently served as Syngenta’s head of marketing communications for North America. 

Jenni-Badding-300.jpgJenni Badding, John Deere Brad Mitchell has also joined Syngenta as the Northeast region lead for state government affairs. Mitchell previously served as the executive director of the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation.


Ray Atkinson has accepted a new job with Smithfield Foods as the director of external communications. For the last six years, Atkinson was a director of communications for the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Jenni Badding has been named as the new production and precision ag public relations manager, North America, for John Deere. Badding joined the company in 2005 and most recently served as Deere’s digital technology go-to-market manager. She succeeds Chad Passman, who now serves as the company’s tactical marketing operations manager.

DJ Gerken has been selected as the new president and executive director of the Southern Environmental Law Center. Gerken was promoted from director of programs.

Ag law veteran Jan Kramer is the new general counsel for Versova, an egg company with operations in Iowa, Ohio, Oregon and Washington. Kramer was previously a legal adviser for the company for more than 15 years and also brings three decades of private practice experience.

Lucas Simmer has joined the Livestock Marketing Association as a government and industry affairs administrator. Simmer is a May graduate of North Dakota State University with degrees in agriculture economics and political science. 

Flagstone Foods has named Harry Overly as CEO. Overly previously served as the president and CEO for Sun-Maid Growers of Fresno, California. He was also the chief customer officer of TreeHouse Foods. His new job starts Sept. 15.

The World Food Prize Foundation has promoted Mashal Husain to senior vice president of development, finance and operations. Husain has been with the organization for the last 14 years, first joining in 2008 as the director of development and finance. In 2014, she was selected to serve as the vice president of the foundation.

Morey Hill, an Iowa Soybean Association director and soybean farmer from Madrid, Iowa, has been elected as vice chair of the American Soybean Association’s WISHH executive committee. 

The American Coalition for Ethanol has reelected five board members and brought on two new members. Reelected to the board: Troy Knecht, representing Redfield Energy; Scott McPheeters, representing KAAPA Ethanol; Rick Schwarck, representing Absolute Energy; Dave Sovereign, representing Golden Grain Energy; and Chris Studer, representing East River Electric Power Cooperative. Randy Gard, representing Bosselman Enterprises Corporation, and Wayne Garrett, representing Chief Ethanol Fuels, were elected as new members of the board.

Brenda Briggs will chair the U.S. Apple Association’s board of directors. She previously served as the board’s vice chair. Briggs is the vice president of sales and marketing with Rice Fruit Co. She succeeds Chris Alpers, operations manager and grower with Redpath Orchards in Michigan. USApple’s new board officers include: vice chair Steve Clement, Sage Fruit; secretary Brett Baker, United Apple Sales; and treasurer Craig Hinkle, Knouse Foods.

Kansas Dairy has named Janet Bailey CEO of the Kansas Dairy Commission and Kansas Dairy Association. Bailey has previous experience working for the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and Kansas Farm Bureau. She also spent time as the vice president of marketing and communications for Frontier Farm Credit.

Rama Radhakrishna will head Purdue University's Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communications. Radhakrishna most recently held a faculty position in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education at Penn State. He also held a faculty position at Clemson University.

The Department of Agriculture has added 12 new people to a new Equity Commission Subcommittee on Rural Community Economic Development.

The Cotton Board has elected a new slate of officers to serve one-year terms. Sonja Chapman is the new chair of the board. Chapman currently serves as the director of international traffic and import compliance for the Golden Touch/Jaclyn Groups and is an associate professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Mark Nichols, a producer from Altus, Oklahoma, was selected to serve as vice chair. Serving as secretary is Akiko Inui, an importer from New York City, and serving as treasurer is Matt Farmer, a producer from Lamesa, Texas.

Bob Vermeer, the longtime CEO of the Vermeer Corp., died Aug. 17 at 78. Vermeer was the chair of the equipment company from 1989-2014 after first joining the company in 1974.  Vermeer chaired the Equipment Manufacturers Association in 2001. That group would go on to merge with the Construction Industry Manufacturers Association to form the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. In 2016, AEM inducted Vermeer into its hall of fame.

Correction: A previous issue incorrectly reported DeShawn Blanding's new employer. He is joining the House Agriculture Committee. 

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