Oklahoma Ag Secretary Blayne Arthur has been chosen to serve as the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s president for 2023-2024. She will host the 2024 NASDA Annual Meeting on Sept. 22-25, 2024. In other NASDA news, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward is the group's new vice president, Maine Commissioner of Agriculture Amanda Beal is now the second vice president, and Washington State Director of Agriculture Derek Sandison was elected secretary-treasurer. Wyoming Director of Agriculture Doug Miyamoto will serve as NASDA’s past president.

blayne-arthur.jpgOklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Blayne ArthurMike Schmidt is being detailed to the Senate Ag Committee’s majority staff for Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., according to USDA sources. Schmidt currently works at the Department of Agriculture as a senior adviser to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and previously served as an adviser to USDA’s Farm Production and Conservation Undersecretary Robert Bonnie. He previously worked for Stabenow on the Senate Ag Committee.

Zach Jacobs has been appointed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin as the new assistant secretary of education for the state. Jacobs was most recently a legislative specialist at the Virginia Farm Bureau and previously worked on Capitol Hill for Rep. Ben Cline, R-Va. He also was a legislative analyst at USDA.

Craig Kleven has been hired as the new director of industry relations for the North Dakota Soybean Council. He previously served as the agricultural education state supervisor and executive secretary for North Dakota FFA.

Anne Dinges now works for Griffith Foods as the global regenerative agriculture manager. She previously was the director of agronomics at Sustainable Environmental Consultants.

Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Commissioner Dawn Stump now works for SEDA Experts as the managing director.

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Clay Edwards has left Cargill where he was the sustainability program lead. He now works for Wyffels Hybrids as the sales strategy and operations manager.

FrankYiannas.jpgFrank Yiannas, iFoodDS

AgReliant Genetics has named Brian Barker as the new chief executive officer and president. David Pugh has also been tapped as the new chief financial officer and vice president of finance. Barker began his career with The Dow Chemical Company and most recently worked at Corteva Agriscience. Pugh previously was at Elanco as the treasurer and vice president of finance strategy and risk management.

Frank Yiannas has taken a seat on the board of directors for iFoodDS, a food safety and traceability supply chain company. Yiannas is the former deputy commissioner for food policy and response at the Food and Drug Administration. Before joining the FDA, Yiannas spent more than 30 years in food safety leadership roles with Walmart and The Walt Disney Co.

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