Deputy Agriculture Secretary Jewel Bronaugh has announced she will step down from USDA's No.. 2 position to pursue more time with her family. Bronaugh was confirmed by the Senate in May 2021. Before that, she served as Virginia’s agriculture director for three years.
Frank Yiannas, FDA's deputy commissioner for food policy, has announced he is stepping down citing a need for Commissioner Robert Califf to create a deputy commissioner for foods position. Yiannas first joined FDA in 2018.
The World Food Prize Foundation has tapped Terry Branstad to be its next president. Branstad served as the U.S. ambassador to China during the Trump administration after two tenures as Iowa's governor. Branstad succeeds Barbara Stinson, who stepped down earlier this month after completing a three-year commitment to the organization. To help with the transition, Ambassador and former World Food Prize Foundation President Kenneth Quinn has rejoined the organization as a special consultant and Mashal Husain has been promoted to chief operating officer. Husain has been with the foundation for nearly 15 years, most recently as its senior vice president.
Two freshman Democrats have been added to the Senate Ag Committee, Peter Welch of Vermont and John Fetterman of Pennsylvania. They will be among six committee Democrats who will see their first farm bill; the other four are Tina Smith of Minnesota, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico and Raphael Warnock of Georgia. Other returning Democrats are Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. The committee is chaired by Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.
The House Ag Committee's Democratic Party roster will include 11 first-term Democrats. They will join nine returning committee Democrats, led by ranking member David Scott of Georgia. The freshman include: Reps. Jonathan Jackson, D-Ill., Yadira Caraveo, D-Colo., Andrea Salinas, D-Ore., Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, D-Wash., Don Davis, D-N.C., Jill Tokuda, D-Hawaii, Nikki Budzinski, D-Ill., Eric Sorensen, D-Ill., Gabe Vasquez, D-N.M., Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, and Greg Casar, D-Texas. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a third-term Democrat from Michigan, also got a seat on the panel. The returning Democrats are Jim Costa of California, Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Alma Adams of North Carolina, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, Shontel Brown of Ohio, Sharice Davids of Kansas and Del. Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands.
Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford has joined Davis, Agnor, Rapaport and Skalny as a partner helping to build up the practice in government relations and lobbying. Rutherford held the lieutenant position from 2015 to 2023 under former Gov. Larry Hogan. He also served as assistant secretary for administration at the Department of Agriculture during the Bush administration.
Danone has appointed Shane Grant, Veronique Penchienati-Bosetta and Juergen Esser to deputy CEO positions. Grant, the current CEO of North America, will oversee Latin America and be responsible for Danone’s global dairy and plant-based division and its global customer and commercial leadership. Penchienati-Bosetta, currently CEO of its international operations, will be responsible for China, North Asia and other parts of the globe. She will head the company’s specialized nutrition and waters categories as well as its global marketing and digital segments. Esser, currently its chief financial, technology and data officer, is being appointed to CEO of these categories.
Ben Kampelman has been moved to the role of vice president of communications for Crop Science North America for Bayer. Kampelman previously served as the director of strategic communications for Crop Science North America. He joined the Bayer U.S. communications team from its global investor relations team.
Susan Skiles Luke has taken on a new role at Bayer as the director of global issues and crisis communications. She previously was the director of external communication for North America. She has been with the company since 2017.
The Carbon Capture Coalition has selected Jessie Stolark to be its new executive director. She most recently served as the coalition’s public policy member relations manager.
The International Dairy Foods Association has named Mike Aquino as a director handling environment, social and governance issues. Aquino is a food scientist and has previously held roles with Danone and General Mills.
Lindsay Yarabek Datlow has joined Dairy Management Inc., as the senior vice president of nutrition affairs. She previously worked at SAS as a principal adviser of consumer goods. She was a senior policy adviser at USDA during the Trump administration.
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Foundation has tapped Chris Jones as the new senior director. He most recently worked at the National Pork Board as director of strategic partnerships.
Mickeala Carter has joined FTI Consulting Government Affairs as a senior director leading the team’s agriculture, retail and consumer goods practice. Carter most recently was the deputy director of communications for USDA. Before heading to the Department, she worked as the director of communications and external affairs on the Hill for then Chairman David Scott, D-Ga., on the House Ag Committee.
The North American Millers’ Association has added to its staff and made some promotions. Molly Miller joins NAMA as the new vice president for regulatory and technical affairs. She previously worked at BASF, where she led the company’s lobbying and advocacy on trade, supply chain, biotechnology, and tax issues. Stephanie Grunenfelder has been brought on as an international trade consultant. She has her own consulting agency and before that led international marketing campaigns for the American Peanut Council. Kim Cooper has been promoted to senior director of government affairs. She joined NAMA as manager of government affairs in 2019.
Bio Huma Netics, a miner and manufacturer of raw humates, has made changes to its leadership team. Jonathan Plehn has been tapped as the new president, succeeding Lyndon Smith, who will continue to serve as chief executive officer. Plehn joined BHN in 2020 as the chief financial officer, bringing 20 years of experience to the role. Steve Lunt has been promoted to chief financial officer. He previously served as the vice president of accounting and corporate controller. Fred Nichols is settling into his role as the chief marketing officer. He joined the company in October.
Hein Schumacher has been selected to succeed Alan Jope as CEO of Unilever, effective July 1. Schumacher currently leads Royal FrieslandCampina, an international dairy and nutrition business, as CEO.
Thomas Ringler has been promoted to executive vice president of enterprise risk for the Farm Credit Bank of Texas. Ringler previously was the vice president of FarmView relationship management and internal controls compliance.
Mark Haddix, agribusiness relationship manager of Farm Credit of the Virginias, has retired after 33 years with the association. Haddix plans to stay active with local organizations by serving as the president of West Virginia’s Randolph County Economic Development Board of Directors and a member of the West Virginia Legislature's Forest Management Review Commission.
Jacy Schafer is settling into her new role as vice president of government affairs for the Nebraska Cattlemen. She was promoted from director of government affairs.
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The Nebraska Soybean Board has brought on Andy Chvatal as the new executive director. He previously worked at Frontier Cooperative as an ag adviser.
HerdDogg has selected Andrew Uden to be the new chief executive officer. He replaces Lou Faust. Uden is a sixth-generation cattle producer and is a co-founder of AgVision International.
Mike Durkin, president and CEO of Leprino Foods Co., was elected to chair the board of directors of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. He replaces Mike Haddad of Schreiber Foods, who served as the Innovation Center’s chair for the previous five years. Dennis Rodenbaugh of Dairy Farmers of America was tapped as the vice chair. Brad Anderson of California Dairies Inc., is the new secretary, and Jay Bryant of the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association was elected treasurer.
The Independent Professional Seed Association selected Chris Latham as the new president of its board of directors. Latham succeeds Chris Cornelius who will remain on as the past president.
Brad Boner of Wyoming has stepped into the role of president of the board of directors for the American Sheep Industry Association. He will hold the position for two years. Ben Lehfeldt of Montana is the new vice president and Joe Pozzi of California is the new secretary-treasurer.
Jarod Morrison has been elected chairman of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association. Morrison works for Farbest Foods where he is the chief financial officer. He succeeds Mike Levengood who now serves as the immediate past chairman. The new vice president is Mikell Fries of Claxton Poultry Farms. Jonathan Cade of Hy-Line International has been tapped as the new treasurer and Bill Griffith of Peco Foods is the new secretary.
Caitlin Tucker has been added to the Organic Materials Review Institute’s board of directors. She currently serves as a program manager at the Rodale Institute. Before that, she worked for the Cornell Cooperative Extension Vegetable Program.
Former Minnesota Senator David Durenberger died on Jan. 31. He was 88. He was elected to the Senate in a special election in 1978 to fill the seat of Sen. Hubert Humphrey’s after he died. Durenberger served 16 years in the Senate, and was active with issues related to health care and environmental policy.
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