Janie Hipp has been tapped as the new lead of the Native Agriculture Financial Services organization. Hipp served as the general counsel of USDA and was also the CEO of the Native American Agriculture Fund before her most recent appointment. 

Doug Baumann has been promoted to chief technology officer at Vive Crop Protection. He previously was the vice president of product development.

Michael Sistak has come back to the American Farm Bureau as the director of advocacy and political management. He previously worked at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget as the director of coalitions and engagement. Before that, he was the director of grassroots program development at AFBF. 

The Council for Producers and Distributors of Agrotechnology (CPDA) has hired Tim Cansler of Cansler Consulting to lead the organization’s 2023 farm bill initiatives. He has lobbied on food and ag issues to Congress in five previous farm bills. His career includes time working at the Department of Agriculture, American Farm Bureau Federation and Kentucky Farm Bureau. 

Shelby Young.jpgShelby Young, USA Rice

Shelby Young has joined USA Rice as the new manager of government affairs. She will also lead USA Rice’s Political Action Committee. Young most recently worked at McKinley Advisors, a DC-based management and strategy consulting firm. In her career, she has also served as the membership specialist for the National Rural Water Association, where she managed communications, donation solicitations, and events for the organization’s PAC.

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Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash, has added two new staff members to the Congressional Western Caucus. Josie McLaurin is a policy adviser handling the portfolio for agriculture, endangered species, forestry, public lands, and water issues. McLaurin previously worked at USA Rice, where she was the manager of government affairs. Adam Brown has been hired on as the new press assistant. He previously worked in the communications department at the Republican National Committee.

Wednesday is Taylor McCarty’s last day on Capitol Hill, where she has served as majority communications director under House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Pa. McCarty says she will announce her next move soon, but says she will be working in D.C. at a public affairs and lobbying shop that represents some energy and agriculture clients. Ben Goldey and Kelsey Holt will be taking over communications for the committee's majority staff. 

Shalini Avasarala has left Capitol Hill where she was the press secretary for Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif. She has joined Weber Shandwick as the new manager of client experience and media relations. 

Mikayla McKenna is joining Rabo AgriFinance as project manager of sustainability client services. She previously worked at the Renewable Fuels Association as the communications manager. 

Michael Tyler has been tapped as the communications director for President Joe Biden’s Biden-Harris 2024 reelection campaign, effective the first week of July. The Atlanta native most recently served as the group director for public affairs at SS&K, a political and advertising firm. Before that, Tyler helped found and oversaw messaging and content strategy for LeBron James’ political organization, More Than A Vote, during the 2020 presidential election cycle. 

Jesse Martin has joined Protect The Harvest, an advocacy group, on the organization’s advisory committee. Bringing over 15 years of experience, Martin previously founded The Growth Group, an agency dedicated to helping nonprofits evolve and sustain growth.

The North American Equipment Dealers Association has elected regional directors. Representing Canada is Wally Butler from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Josh Vines of Bastrop, Louisiana, has been selected to direct the deep southern region and Eric Mason of Aurora, Utah, the far west region. Lastly, Kevin Clark of Lincoln, Nebraska, was elected to oversee the Iowa-Nebraska region. 

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