Lisa Safarian is the new president and chief operating officer of Pivot Bio. Safarian previously worked at Bayer as the president of the crop science North America division. Before that, she was the vice president of North America for the Monsanto Co.

Nebraska Republican Ben Sasse plans to resign from the Senate in December to become the next president of the University of Florida, returning to academia after representing Nebraska in the U.S. Senate for eight years. Gov. Pete Ricketts will appoint a successor to fill the Senate seat until January of 2025. Nebraska voters will elect a new senator to fill the final two years of Sasse's term next year.

Lisa SafarianLisa Safarian, Pivot Bio

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization has announced Rachel King will serve as the organization’s interim president and CEO. Her appointment comes after Michelle McMurry-Heath stepped down as president and CEO. According to a BIO press release, McMurry-Heath will serve as an adviser to the executive committee of the BIO board of directors. Reports of a clash between McMurry-Heath and other BIO leaders emerged over the weekend. King is the co-founder and former CEO of GlycoMimetics. She also previously chaired the BIO board.

Andy Berke has been appointed as the administrator of USDA's Rural Utilities Service. Most recently, Berke served as a special representative for broadband at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Department of Commerce. Before that, Berke served as mayor of Chattanooga from 2013 to 2021.

Kate Fitzgerald has joined USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service as branch chief. Fitzgerald, who was brought on to help launch the new Regional Food Business Centers, has previous experience working for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Ryan Findlay has joined Rabo AgriFinance as the new regional lead of business development for carbon banking. For the past two years, Findlay ran his own consulting business called Theory of Green Consulting. He also most recently served as the North American corporate development manager and carbon lead for Farmers Edge. Before that, he was the CEO of the American Soybean Association. 

Darin Guries now serves as the vice president of federal government relations for JPMorgan Chase. Guries previously worked on the Senate Agriculture Committee for ranking member John Boozman, R-Ark., handling the portfolio for cryptocurrencies, derivatives, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, rural development, broadband, energy, and farm credit.

J.R. Simplot has announced plans to merge its food group with Simplot Australia to form Global Foods, a new business unit. Graham Dugdale has been tapped to lead the unit as the new president. He previously led Simplot Australia.

Hormel Foods Corp. has promoted Katie Larson to senior vice president of human resources. Larson has been with the company for 23 years, previously serving as the director of human resources. 

Darin Guries.jpegDarin Guries, JPMorgan Chase

Craig Anderson is the new director of government affairs for the Forest Landowners Association. Anderson previously served as the director of government affairs for the Georgia Forestry Association. He also worked eight years on Capitol Hill for Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga.

John Duff has launched his own consulting firm, Serō Ag Strategies. For the past seven years, Duff has worked for the National Sorghum Producers, most recently as the executive vice president. Before NSP, Duff was the renewables program director at the United Sorghum Checkoff. 

Ron O’Brien has joined Nui Markets as the new president of Nui North America. O’Brien brings over 20 years of experience to the position previously working at Interfood as the global derivatives director and vice president.

The CME Group has appointed two new global heads for its Equity Index and Cryptocurrency businesses. Paul Woolman has been named the global head of equity index products, and Giovanni Vicioso is the new global head of cryptocurrency products. Woolman and Vicioso will report to Tim McCourt, who previously led both business lines and was recently named global head of equity and FX products.

Bill Rupp has joined the advisory group of Bion Environmental Technologies, a developer of livestock waste treatment technology. Bringing over 37 years of experience to the role, Rupp previously served as the president of Cargill Beef for 25 years. He also served as the president of JBS Beef for five years. 

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Craig Meeker of Kansas has been elected as the new chairman of the National Sorghum Producers board of directors, succeeding Kody Carson of Texas. Selected to serve as vice chair is Amy France of Kansas. Newly elected to the board are Garrett Love from Kansas and Kent Martin from Oklahoma. Larry Richardson of Texas was re-elected to the board. 

Rachael Oury has left the Global Cold Chain Alliance where she was the senior manager of industry promotion. She now serves as the communications manager of S-3 Group. She has also held roles with the Department of Energy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ashley Kohls is the new executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and the Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council. She previously served as the vice president of government affairs at Nebraska Cattlemen and as executive director at the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association.

Lacy Nelson has left the office of Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., where she served as the communications director. Nelson has taken a new job with Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy as the communications director of the Institute of Politics and Public Service.

Gidel Dawson no longer works for the Renewable Fuels Association where she served as the manager of government and public affairs. She now serves as an engineering program manager of The Daily Wire. 

Michael Riedel has retired from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service where he was a foreign service officer. During his time at USDA, he served as an agricultural attaché in India, Iraq, Vietnam, China, and Peru. 

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