David Hayes has come to the Natural Resources Defense Council to serve as a senior fellow. Hayes was a deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the Department of the Interior during the Obama and Clinton administrations. He also most recently served as senior White House climate adviser during the Biden administration.

The House Republican Steering Committee has selected 12 Republicans to sit on the House Agriculture Committee. The new members include two representatives from New York, Nick Langworthy and Marc Molinaro, and two from Texas, Ronny Jackson and Monica De La Cruz. Other new members include John Rose of Tennessee, Mark Alford of Missouri, Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon, John Duarte of California, Max Miller of Ohio, Zach Nunn of Iowa and Derrick Van Orden of Wisconsin. Rep. Frank Lucas, Okla., who chaired the panel during the development of the 2014 farm bill, also returned to sit on the committee. Read more in our story on Agri-Pulse.com.

In addition to Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Pa., the returning members of the House Ag Committee in order of seniority include: Austin Scott of Georgia, Rick Crawford of Arkansas, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, Doug LaMalfa of California, David Rouzer of North Carolina, Trent Kelly of Mississippi, Don Bacon of Nebraska, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Jim Baird of Indiana, Tracey Mann of Kansas, Mary Miller of Illinois, Barry Moore of Alabama, Kat Cammack of Florida and Brad Finstad of Minnesota. Democrats haven’t named their committee roster yet.

Former Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts will take the Senate seat vacated by Ben Sasse, who has resigned to become president of the University of Florida. Ricketts was appointed last week by Nebraska Gov. Joe Pillen, and will fill the seat for the next two years. The seat will be on the ballot in 2024 and again in 2026.

Former Rep. Rodney DavisFormer Illinois Republican Rep.Rodney Davishas joined Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies as a managing director. The five-term congressman lost a primary bid to Republican Mary Miller after redistricting pitted them against each another. During his tenure in Congress, Davis served as the ranking member of the Committee on House Administration, ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, and deputy whip for Republican Whip Steve Scalise. He also was a longtime Ag Committee member and served as the chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research during the 115th Congress.

Jeff Frank has been tapped to lead Organic Valley as the new chief executive officer, effective Jan. 23. He succeeds Bob Kirchoff, who announced his retirement last year and will have his last day with the company on Jan. 31. Frank comes to Organic Valley after 25 years at Hormel Foods, where he worked the last 25 years. He most recently was the president and CEO of MegaMex Foods, a joint venture between Hormel and Herdez del Fuerte, S.A.  

Pat O’Toole has joined Burger King as the new chief marketing officer in the U.S. and Canada, effective Feb. 6. He most recently served as the CMO of PepsiCo’s Mountain Dew brand and before that worked at General Electric.

The International Dairy Foods Association has picked Mike Brown as its next chief economist. Brown was most recently the director of the dairy supply chain for The Kroger Co., but also spent time earlier in his career with Glanbia, Darigold, and National All-Jersey.

IDFA also announced consulting agreements to support its dairy policy and pricing efforts with federal milk marketing order experts Chip English and Steven Rosenbaum as well as former House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson.

Peter Mihalick is the newest member of the Organic Trade Association staff, where he is now senior director of government affairs. Mihalick comes from the National Community Pharmacists Association and American Medical Informatics Association, but he also boasts nearly a decade of experience on Capitol Hill.

Sarah Novak has been promoted to chief operating officer of the American Feed Industry Association. Novak has been with the association for over 15 years and most recently served as the vice president of membership and public relations.

Sompo International, a global provider of commercial and consumer property and casualty insurance, has named Brad Leighton as president of AgriSompo North America. Marji Guyler-Alaniz has been named chief operating officer of AgriSompo North America and president of AgriSompo International. Leighton most recently was a senior vice president of national operations at AgriSompo. Guyler-Alaniz most recently held the role of senior vice president of communication, operations, and risk.

Mickeala Carter has left the Department of Agriculture where she worked as the deputy director of communications. She was at the department for the last two years and was previously on Capitol Hill, most recently with the House Agriculture Committee on the staff of former chairman David Scott.

Mickeala CarterMickeala Carter Sara Arsenault and Zach Pinto are joining the AgSpire team. Arsenault will serve as the senior director of client relations. She most recently worked the last three months at the Almond Alliance as a vice president. Before that, she led federal policy efforts for the California Farm Bureau and also worked at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. Pinto is the new carbon and ecosystem service markets adviser. He previously worked at Pinion Global, where he was the manager of sustainability services for food, farm, and agriculture businesses.

The National Corn Growers Association has hired Sadie Lackey as the new manager of grassroots advocacy and leadership development. Lackey previously worked on Capitol Hill for Rep. Jerry Carl, R-Ala., where she was a press assistant.

Taylor Wiseman is headed to the House Natural Resources Committee where she will be professional staff under Chairman Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., for the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. She previously worked on the Senate Agriculture Committee under Ranking Member John Boozman, R-Ark., where she was a deputy economist and policy analyst.

The National Turkey Federation has hired Shelby Shaw Newman as the new communications and marketing adviser. She previously worked at JBS USA as a communications specialist.

Andy Vance is the new executive director of the Poultry Science Association. He previously worked at Farm Progress as the director of strategic accounts.

Interested in more coverage and insights? Receive a free month of Agri-Pulse by clicking on our link!   

Taylor Wiseman.jpegTaylor Wiseman, House Natural Resources CommitteeCaroline Harper is now the program associate of Agriculture of the Chesapeake Initiative at The Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment. Harper joined the foundation with the Chesapeake office in August 2020 and transitioned to work with the Pacific office in March 2021, where she most recently was the executive and grants assistant.

Heather Buechter has joined Clean Fuels Alliance America as the new communications director. She most recently worked for the Missouri Catholic Conference as the director of communications and before that, was a broadcast journalist.

Caitlin Keck has been hired by the National Pork Board to be the director of stakeholder communications. She previously worked for Environmental Tillage Systems as the marketing and communications director.

Shelby Myers has left the American Farm Bureau Federation, where she was an economist for the last three years. Myers is headed to Ever.Ag Insights to be the grain market intelligence director. Before joining AFBF, Myers worked at the Indiana Farm Bureau.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has tapped Ken Herz from Nebraska to chair its agriculture and food policy committee. Jeff Schafer, North Dakota, was selected as the new vice chair. To see a complete list of the committee chairs, click here.

John Starkey has announced he is retiring as president of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, a position he has held since 2007. A search committee has been established to find Starkey’s successor. Starkey will transition to an advisory role for the remainder of 2023 to ensure a smooth transition once a successor is named. He began his career at Gold Kist after graduating with a chemical engineering degree from Purdue University. He went on to pursue a master’s degree in sanitary engineering at Georgia Tech and has also worked for Hudson Foods, acquired by Tyson Foods, and was a principal at the engineering firm Vaughn, Coltrane and Associates.

The U.S. Cattlemen's Association has appointed new officers to lead the organization for 2023. South Dakota's Justin Tupper has been tapped as president and Whitney Klasna of Montana as vice president. Chuck Kiker of Texas will remain on as parliamentarian, and Ann Miller will continue to serve as treasurer. Amanda Kita volunteered to be the organization’s secretary.

For more news, go to www.Agri-Pulse.com.