Sarah Bovim.jpegSarah Bovim, CHS

CHS has added Sarah Bovim to its Washington team as vice president of government affairs. She most recently worked at Albertsons as the senior vice president of government affairs and public policy. Before that, she worked at Whirlpool Corporation. Bovim succeeds Jim Zappa, who will retire on April 3. He joined CHS in 2015 as general counsel and held various leadership roles within the organization.

Douglas Minder has been promoted to chief financial officer of Biotalys, effective July 1. He succeeds Wim Ottevaere, who will conclude his operational role and continue to serve Biotalys in an advisory capacity. 

Brooke Taylor has been elevated to legislative assistant and Macie Kelly to policy analyst on the Republican staff of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Taylor will assist the legal team on nominations and oversight along with the CFTC, conservation, climate and sustainability portfolio. Kelly will handle issues related to Arkansas agriculture, ag appropriations, and ag labor. Taylor previously was a legislative aide and Kelly a legislative assistant. 

Jeff Kuckuck is now senior government relations director at the National Cotton Council. Previously, he served as a Rep. Tom Emmer’s, R-Minn., legislative director and worked for Reps. Andy Biggs and Reid Ribble.

Austin Higginbotham is the new deputy chief of staff and communications director for Missouri freshman Rep. Mark Alford, R-Mo. He previously worked for Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, as communications director. He replaces Andrew Leppert in Alford's office. 

Ryan Dalbec has moved to Rep. French Hill’s, D-Ark., office as a legislative assistant covering healthcare, education, workforce, and telecommunications. He previously worked for The Assistance Fund as manager of legislative affairs. Before that, he was a legislative aide to then-Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. 

Brooke Taylor .jpegBrooke Taylor, Senate Ag

Lucas Rudy has joined the U.S. Grains Council as the new global programs coordinator. He recently received his undergraduate degree in global studies from Florida International University. During that time he interned at the U.S. Army Garrison Italy and the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. He was also an English teacher for clients in Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia.

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher is stepping down from his role, effective July 1. Fisher was first appointed to the role in 2009 by former Gov. Jon Corzine. He was reappointed by Gov. Chris Christie and then by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2018. 

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John Anderson has been elected as the next president of the Southern Agriculture Economics Association. Anderson is the head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences.

The National Wheat Foundation elected new officers to its board. The new chairman is Bernard Peterson from Kentucky, who raises winter wheat, corn, and soybeans. Scott Brown from Idaho was elected as vice chair, and Gary Broyles from Montana was selected as secretary and treasurer. Newly added to the board as a director are Ken Wood, Brian Walker, and Carl Schwienke.

Christine Daugherty and Marc Drouin will sit on the Leading Harvest board of directors and will serve on the newly formed International Committee of the Board. Daugherty is the deputy director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Drouin is the senior managing director at PSP Investments.

Former Rep. John W. Jenrette Jr., a liberal South Carolina Democrat who served on the House Agriculture Committee in 1975-1980 before scandal ended his career, died March 17. He was 86. He became infamous after he was convicted in October 1980 of accepting a $50,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent posing as an Arab sheikh. The Abscam investigation ensnared him and six other members of Congress. The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., said Jenrette was “committed to constituent services and was an advocate for farmers in the Pee Dee” region of northeastern South Carolina, where tobacco, cotton, soybeans, and produce were grown. 

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