Jewel Bronaugh is the new president of the 1890 Universities Foundation. She will help support the missions of 19 historically Black universities authorized by Congress in 1890 to support agriculture and technical education. Bronaugh stepped down as USDA’s deputy secretary of agriculture in February and then became a senior adviser to Virginia State University’s dean for land-grant initiatives at the College of Agriculture. Before her time at USDA, some of Bronaugh's other roles included time as Virginia's agriculture commissioner, a state Farm Service Agency administrator, and the dean of Virginia State University's College of Agriculture. 

Jewel BronaughJewel Bronaugh, 1890 Universities Foundation

Oregan Gov. Tina Kotek has tapped Lisa Charpilloz Hanson as the new director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Hanson was the deputy director of the agency from 2005 to 2021, before leaving to lead the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. She fills the position vacated by Alexis Taylor, who left to be the trade undersecretary at the Department of Agriculture.

Ryan “RJ” Jackson is the new vice president of federal affairs at the American Chemistry Council. He most recently led government and political affairs for the National Mining Association. Before that, he was the chief of staff for the Environmental Protection Agency and also worked on Capitol Hill as the staff director for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee under its former chairman, Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.

George Moubayed will assume additional responsibilities as Caterpillar’s chief sustainability and strategy officer, effective Jan. 1. Moubayed is the current senior vice president of the Enterprise Strategy Division. He will succeed Lou Balmer-Millar, who is retiring as chief sustainability officer on Dec. 31. after 20 years of service with the company.

Tracy Willits now works at Anew as the chief communication officer. She previously worked at Pivot Bio as the vice president of communications.

Nicole Erceg has been brought on as the new director of marketing for Agriculture Future of America, an organization cultivating the next generation of agricultural leaders. Erceg most recently served as the director of communications for Certified Angus Beef.

Nicole Erceg.jpgNicole Erceg, AFA

Chris Speight is now a partner at MiddleGround. He previously was the chief financial officer at Alltech.

The National Agricultural Law Center has two new staff attorneys: Samantha Capaldo and Emily Stone. Capaldo is a graduate of Drake Law School and holds an undergraduate degree in dairy science, and a master’s degree in agricultural and life science with a concentration in food safety and biosecurity from Virginia Tech. Stone has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications from Auburn University and earned her law degree from the University of Arkansas.

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The Cotton Board has hired Daniel Radford as its Southeast regional communications manager, inheriting the territory from longtime employee Monty Bain, who announced his retirement in March. Radford’s territory includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Radford previously served as the director of alumni and engagement for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University.

Michelle Kirkman has joined FGS Global as a director on the health team. She brings more than a decade of experience in public affairs and strategic communications to the role, most recently serving as the communications director to Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee.

Amie Simpson is now the marketing communications specialist at the Indiana Soybean Alliance. She was previously a farm broadcaster for Brownfield Ag News.

Robert Guenther has left the International Fresh Produce Association, where he was the chief public policy officer. IFPA has begun its search to find Guenther’s replacement. IFPA’s government relations team was formed in January 2022, after the merger of the Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association. Guenther had worked for the United Fresh Produce Association since 1999. Before that, he was an aide on the House Agriculture Committee.

Peggy Browne no longer works for CropLife America. She was the vice president of government affairs. Before joining CropLife, Browne worked on the Senate Ag Committee as professional staff under ranking member John Boozman, R-Ark.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., has hired Matt Reed as his new communications director, following Mike Marinella’s departure. Reed previously worked for Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., as his press secretary.

The Great Plains Institute has added Toyah Callahan, Mothusi Pahl, and Scott Zastoupil to its board of directors. Callahan is the program director of the Sustainable Energy Action Committee at the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. Pahl leads business development and government affairs at Modern Hydrogen. Zastoupil is chief financial officer at the Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation.

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