The National Pork Producers Council has added Julie Schwalbe to its team as the new director of industry resource development, overseeing the Pork Alliance membership retention and recruitment. She will also serve as a member of the World Pork Expo team and assist with raising Pork PAC funding. Bringing over 30 years of sales and marketing experience, Schwalbe most recently worked at CEVA Animal Health as a senior swine account manager. Before that, she worked at Zoetis as the team pork strategic account manager.

Ryan Heiniger has been tapped as the new executive director of the Conservation Technology Information Center. Heiniger is a fourth-generation Iowa farmer and wildlife biologist. Before joining CTIC, Heiniger served as director for America's Conservation Ag Movement with Farm Journal and served in a number of leadership capacities with Ducks Unlimited, as well as director of agriculture for Richard WaycottRichard Waycott, ABCPheasants Forever and Quail Forever.

John Walt Boatright has joined the American Farm Bureau Federation as the new director of government relations focusing on farm labor, pesticides and specialty crop issues. He comes to AFBF from the Florida Farm Bureau Federation, where he was the director of national affairs. 

Dave Flitman has been tapped as the new chief executive officer and member of the board at US Foods. He most recently served as the president and CEO at Builders FirstSource, the largest U.S. supplier of building products. Before that, he was president and CEO of Performance Foodservice.

Beth Breeding is joining Boehringer Ingelheim as the associate director of public relations and communications for livestock, equine, and agriculture. She was previously with the National Turkey Federation as the vice president of communications and marketing. 

Marissa Dake now serves as the vice president of brand and people for DNO Produce. She first joined the organization a year ago as the director of communications and public affairs. Before that, Dake served as director of Operation Food Secure, a hunger relief initiative sourced by USDA's Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. She has also worked for Michael Torrey Associates, now known as Torrey Advisory Group. 

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has hired Mickey Davis as the new lead of the newly established Community Food Access Program in CDA’s Markets Division. In this role, she will oversee the creation of the program and aim to improve availability and affordability of healthy food in communities across Colorado that struggle with food access. Davis previously worked as the food access specialist at Boulder County Farmers Markets, managing healthy food incentive programs.

After 21 years, Richard Waycott has announced he will step down as president and CEO of the Almond Board of California at the end of 2023 to pursue other interests. Before coming to the board, Waycott worked more than 20 years in the food manufacturing and agribusiness industries, mostly in Latin America. A search committee has been formed to ensure a smooth transition.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) has added Venkata Kishore to its board of directors. He serves as the vice president and head of smallholders and sustainability of vegetable seeds at Bayer.

Interested in more coverage and insights? Receive a free month of Agri-Pulse!  

The Department of Agriculture has appointed 19 and reappointed 24 farmers to serve on the United Soybean Board. The newly appointed farmer-leaders include: Dustin Henson, Arkansas; David Wessel, Illinois; Dwayne Anderson, Illinois; Matthew Chapman, Indiana; Robb Ewoldt, Iowa; Brent Renner, Iowa; Joseph Boudreaux, Louisiana; R. Travis Hutchison, Maryland; Dennis Gardner, Michigan; Carla Schultz, Michigan; Thomas Frisch, Minnesota; Matthew Guedon, Mississippi; Victor Bohuslavsky, Nebraska; Patrick Giberson, New Jersey; Jason Swede, New York; Brent Rendel, Oklahoma; Dawn Scheier, South Dakota; Sara Stelter, Wisconsin; and Rod Hahn, Colorado. To view a list of the reappointed members, click here.

Lindiwe Majele Sibanda .jpgLindiwe Majele Sibanda, CGIARMarco Ferroni has announced his decision to step down at the end of the year as board chair of the CGIAR System, a global agricultural innovation network. He has served as board chair for the last five years. CGIAR has tapped current board member Lindiwe Majele Sibanda as the next chair beginning in January. Sibanda serves as the director and chairwoman of African Research Universities Alliance Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Va., passed away Nov. 28 after a battle with colorectal cancer. McEachin had just been reelected to his fourth term as a member of Congress, where he served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and the House Committee on Natural Resources. He also served as a co-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus’s Energy, Environment, and Agriculture Task Force. No funeral arrangements have been made at this time.

For more news, go to