The California Strawberry Commission has hired Bill Turechek as the new vice president of research and Jeff Cardinale as the new director of communications. Turechek has worked for USDA’s Agriculture Research Service as a research plant pathologist at USDA-ARS Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida, since 2006. Cardinale previously led communications for the California Table Grape Commission. 

The Citrus Research Board has brought on Ivan Milosavljevic as the new integrated pest management (IPM) entomologist, effective July 3. He most recently worked at the University of California Riverside (UCR), researching Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and Argentine ants while developing applied recommendations for citrus growers.

Ivan Milosavljevic.jpgIvan Milosavljevic, Citrus Research Board

Courchesne Larose, a Canadian fruit and vegetable company, has selected Michael Aucoin as the new CEO of the company. He previously led Agropur’s Canadian operations from 2017 to 2019. He has also held roles with Smuckers and Hershey. He succeeds Michel Routhier, who has moved to the position of vice chair of the board of directors.

Roberta Anderson has been tapped as the new president of GLOBALG.A.P. North America, the U.S.-based subsidiary of the firm that sets standards for responsible farming practices. She has been with the GGNA team since 2014, and most recently was the executive vice president. She succeeds Kristian Moeller as president. 

Susan Noritake has been brought on to Bako Sweet as the director of sales. She previously worked at Zespri International as the head of sales for North America. She has also held sales roles with Duda Farm Fresh Foods, and Mann Packing.

Kelby Sullivan is the new director of sales for Braga Fresh. Bringing over 18 years of experience to the role, Sullivan previously worked at Bonduelle Fresh Americas where she was the director of national sales. 

Steve Mayer has been elevated to president of Bashas’ Operating, leading the reorganization of the company’s Arizona and New Mexico offices. Mayer most recently served as the chief operating officer, and previously joined Bashas’ leadership team in 2020. 

Roberta Anderson For Web 9430.JPGRoberta Anderson, GLOBALG.A.P. North America

Sheila Nix has been selected to serve as Vice President Kamala Harris’ chief of staff for the Biden-Harris 2024 reelection campaign beginning in July. Nix currently serves as the chief of staff at the Department of Education.

Benson Hill, a food tech company, has appointed Adrienne "Deanie" Elsner as the interim chief executive officer of the company, succeeding Matt Crisp, who has agreed to resign. Crisp is a co-founder of Benson Hill, and will serve as a consultant to the Benson Hill board for a year to ensure a smooth transition. Elsner most recently served as president, CEO, and director of Charlotte's Web Holdings, Inc., a vertically integrated company that made hemp-derived CBD extract products. Before that, she was the president of U.S. snacks for the Kellogg Co. 

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Chris Thompson has been promoted to international standards director at USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. He previously was the chief of the dairy standardization branch. 

Jack Long has been hired as the new government relations representative for the National Association of Wheat Growers. Long is a recent graduate from Oklahoma State University, where he received a master’s in agribusiness.

Tom Danowski has announced he is stepping down as executive director of the Oregon Wine Board at the end of the year. Danowski has served at the helm since 2011. Before coming to the board, Danowski held roles with Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

House Ag Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., and Ranking Member David Scott, D-Ga., have announced the members who will participate on an agricultural labor working group. The Republican members are Reps. Rick Crawford of Arkansas, co-chair, Lori Chavez-DeRemer of Oregon, Monica De La Cruz of Texas, Doug LaMalfa of California, Nick Landworthy of New York, David Rouzer of North Carolina, and Derrick Van Orden of Wisconsin. The Democratic members include Reps. Don Davis of North Carolina, the other co-chair, Yadira Caraveo of Colorado, Salud Carbajal of California, Jim Costa of California, Jasmine Crockett of Texas, Darren Soto of Florida and Gabe Vasquez of New Mexico.

Scott has also added two new additions to his Ag Committee staff. Clark Ogilvie has returned to the committee as the special counsel. He most recently served as the general counsel on the Farm Credit Administration. Ari Perlmutter has been hired as a policy analyst covering the portfolio for conservation and forestry. He previously worked for Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Wash., handling the agriculture, environment, nutrition and labor portfolio as a legislative assistant. 

David Armstrong has accepted the gavel from Jim Schweigert as the new chairman of the American Seed Trade Association’s board of directors. Armstrong serves as the president and CEO of Sakata America Holding Co. Dan Foor of DLF North America will serve as first vice chair and Syngenta’s Dave Treinen as second vice chair. Schweigert is the president of Gro Alliance. 

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