Chairman JB Hamby with Vice Chair Jim Madaffer.jpgJB Hamby (right) with vice chair Jim Madaffer (left)

JB Hamby has been selected to serve as chairman of the Colorado River Board of California. Hamby is the vice president and division two director of the Imperial Irrigation District. Hamby has served on the Colorado River Board since April of 2021. 

Mark Bassetti has been chosen to lead Duda Farm Fresh Foods as president. Duda Farm Fresh Foods is a subsidiary of A. Duda and Sons. Bassetti previously served as chief operating officer and senior vice president of the company. 

The Nunes Company has named Joe Mollner vice president of operations for Nunes Vegetables. He previously worked for Harvest Management, most recently as the vice president of operations. 

Sheridan Silver is the new vice president of supply chain for Tanimura and Antle. Bringing over 20 years of experience to the role, Silver previously worked at Florida Crystals as the direct materials director. 

Mindy Burris DeRohan has been brought on to the California Association of Winegrape Growers as the communications manager. She most recently worked at the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom as a program manager. 

Jim Hohman has been named the new general manager and interim West Coast sales manager for Sierra Produce. Hohman brings over 30 years of experience to the role, beginning with Sierra Produce in 2005 as the East Coast sales manager. He succeeds Roland Berndt, who is stepping down as general manager after almost three decades at the helm. Mike Schiappa will take over as the East Coast sales manager. He previously worked for Sierra Produce from 2006 to 2016 and has held leadership roles at Pacific Trellis and Del Monte.

National Lamb Feeders Association has hired Karen Maneotis to be the new executive director. Maneotis raises sheep, goats, and cattle on the family ranch with her husband near Craig, Colo.

Beth Moskowitz is leaving Beyond Meat where she served as the chief brand officer, according to internal company communications. Moskowitz joined Beyond in 2019 and previously served as its chief creative officer and head of special projects. The story was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

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 most recently served as senior White House climate adviser in 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

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. 

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.

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.

Mickeala CarterMickeala Carter

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 an senior vice president of national operations at AgriSompo. Guyler-Alaniz most recently held the role of senior vice president of communications, operations, and risk. 

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

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.

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

Caroline 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. 

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.

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.

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

Ron Carkoski, retired CEO of Four Seasons Produce and a past chair of United Fresh Produce Association, died on Jan. 5. He was 69. Carkoski began his career as a music teacher, fulfilling a passion of his. He later entered the produce industry first working for Cohodas Bros., then Carpenter Cook and Gateway Foods. In 1995, he came to Four Seasons Produce in Denver, Pa., as the director of procurement, and in 2018 was tapped to lead the organization as president and CEO. 

For more news, go to