Stacy Dean, deputy undersecretary of agriculture for food, nutrition and consumer services, will step down from her position in July. She led the Biden administration's update of the Thrifty Food Plan and was nominated twice to be undersecretary but the Senate returned her nomination both times. Cindy Long, current administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, will fill Dean's role after she leaves. Dean will become the newly created Carbonell Family Executive Director of the Global Food Institute at George Washington University. “Under the leadership of Stacy Dean, USDA's Food and Nutrition Service has been innovative and forward-looking in their efforts to enhance nutrition security," said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. "American families are better off thanks to Stacy’s work and will continue stacy_dean.pngStacy Dean, Executive Director of the GW University Global Food Institute. to be in her new role.”

After 13 years, Mike Brown is retiring as president of the National Chicken Council. Sources who asked to remain confidential reported that Brown was arrested and charged with battery - touch or strike another against their will in Collier County, Florida, on June 7, 2024. Asked to confirm the report, NCC senior vice president of communications Tom Super said in an email, "We are aware of the situation. Mike is no longer with NCC and is dealing with a personal matter." Gary Jay Kushner, NCC’s general counsel for more than 40 years, has been named interim vice president. NCC will conduct a nationwide search to select a new leader. 

Victoria Malochhas been named chief of staff for USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs. An Oxford, Cambridge and University of Arkansas graduate, she previously was special adviser for strategic communications in the USDA Office of Communications and communications director for House Agriculture Committee Democrats. She was a National FFA officer, Marshall Scholar and received a Senior Honor Citation from the University of Arkansas. 

A 37-year National Agricultural Statistics Service veteran, Joseph Parsons has been selected as the NASS administrator effective June 16. Previously Parsons served as acting administrator and associate administrator of NASS. He will succeed Hubert Hamer who retired in March. 

Tyson Foods has suspended the company’s chief financial officer, John R. Tyson, after he was arrested in Arkansas for driving while intoxicated, his second arrest in two years. He is the great grandson of the company’s founder, John W. Tyson. Senior finance executive Curt Calaway was named interim CFO. 

Erin Wilson left her position as member services and coalitions director for the House Agriculture Committee, a post she held since 2021 under Chairman Glenn "GT" Thompson, R-Pa. With her departure, Tim Fitzgerald was promoted to director; he had been coordinator for member services and coalitions. 

Abby Meier will join the National Corn Growers Association as manager of state engagement. A recent Purdue University graduate in agriculture business and political science, Meier interned with the Corn Refiners Association. She was awarded the Outstanding Senior Award from the Purdue Agricultural Economics Department.

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Varun Sivaram, former senior adviser to special climate envoy John Kerry, is joining the Council on Foreign Relations as a senior fellow for energy and climate. He was chief strategy and innovation officer at Ørsted, a company with wind, solar, hydroelectric and other renewable energy interests. Sivaram has been recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Grist Top 50 Leaders in Sustainability and Time magazine's 100 Next Most Influential People in the World. 

Sivaram Headshot.pngVarun Sivaram, senior fellow for energy and climate at the Foreign Relations Council.Bailee Fanning has joined Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE) as policy coordinator. A recent University of Illinois Agriculture and Consumer Economics graduate, Fanning previously held internships with the House Agriculture Committee Republican staff and the Illinois State Senate. 

Rep. John Duarte, R- Calif., tapped Kyle Lombardi as deputy chief of staff. Lombardi has been senior policy adviser for Duarte since the beginning of the year and previously spent more than 15 years on staff with former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. Lombardi has handled agriculture, energy and environment issues. 

Angeline Neo has joined the World Food Prize Foundation as a program coordinator on the organization’s communication team. Neo will contribute to the foundation’s social media channels, press releases, newsletters and graphic design projects. An alumna of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and Iowa State University, she has previously worked at Self-Help International, Enovation Controls and 3M.

Bailey McKenna Olesen joined Aimpoint Research as an intelligence analyst. A graduate of Iowa State University's agricultural economics master’s program, Olesen completed internships with Aimpoint as a situational awareness analyst and the dairy foods financial planning team at Land O’Lakes. During college, Olesen participated in a Soybeans USA trip following the path of a soybean from the farm through value-added processes to export locations on the West Coast. 

Perdue Farms has tapped Perry Aulie as president of Perdue AgriBusiness. As senior vice president of value-added products at Perdue, he launched partnerships to pay growers for carbon sequestration. He is a veteran of Louis Dreyfus Company and Monsanto Brazil, where he was RoundUp product manager. Aulie succeeds Scott Fredericksen, who is retiring. 

The National Sheep Improvement Program named David Scales as executive director. A Michigan State animal science graduate, Scales has experience with reproductive technology at Reproduction Specialty Group and as a flock manager at Wheaton Hampshires.  

perry-aulie-pr-copy.jpgPerry Aulie, Perdue AgriBusiness

The Senate Appropriations Committee has hiredAmanda Wyma-Bradleyas a professional staff member. She worked for Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., since 2021, recently as deputy legislative director. She is an alumna of Seattle Pacific University and Georgetown University.

Claire Wengrod joined the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies as a professional staff member. She was in the personal office of Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., subcommittee chairman, since 2019, recently as legislative assistant. 

Jessica Dine has joined New America as a policy analyst on broadband access and adoption with the Open Technology Institute and Wireless Future Project. She was at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. 

Agriculture Committee member Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has named Matthew Keyes deputy communications director. Keyes served as communications director for the Ohio Democratic Party for the past two years and was on Brown's staff for eight years in communications and press secretary positions. 

Dairy West has promoted Jessica Schmitt to manager of integrated communications. She will oversee strategic use of consumer data to enhance marketing and use digital marketing. From an Iowa dairy farm, she is an alumna of Iowa State University and Purdue University. 

Jessica Schmitt Dairy West.jpegJessica Schmitt, manager of integrated communications at Dairy West. Adam Kozloski has left his position as foreign policy advisor for of Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa. He has been with Ernst since 2022, handling trade, foreign policy, intelligence and defense. He will pursue a master's in public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School.

Newly elected Rep. Michael Rulli, R- Ohio, has named Mark O’Connell chief of staff. O’Connell comes from the Plastics Industry Association where he was vice president of government affairs. Previously, he was deputy associate administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency in the Bush administration and focused on clean energy with Linde North America. O’Connell was chief of staff for Rep. Jim Saxton, R- N.J., in the 1990s. 

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education and Regulation has named new co-executive directors Tate Bennett and Shanita Penny. Penny will head CPEAR’s Center of Excellence and Bennett will lead its government relations. They succeed former executive director Andrew Freedman

Evan Johnston has been promoted to deputy chief of staff for Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine. Johnston has been on Pingree’s staff since 2012, recently as legislative director. 

Kendall Dehnel has left the office of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. She worked on McMorris Rodgers’ campaign and congressional staff since 2016, most recently as a legislative assistant. 

Agtegra Cooperative, Aberdeen, S.D., promoted Jerad Appel to vice president of energy operations. Appel will direct and manage risk management, growth and strategic planning for the energy and retail divisions. He previously was energy sales manager at Agtegra. 

jerad-appel-news.pngJerad Appel, vice president of energy operations at Agtegra Cooperative. Scott Thompson, executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, has retired. During more than 10 years in the position, Thompson implemented new approaches to environmental permitting and enforcement. He has also held positions in the agency’s land protection division and cleanup for brownfields and radiation management during his tenure in public service.

California Almond Growers elected to its board Paul Ewing of Los Banos and Joe Gardiner of Earlimart for grower positions. Garrett Bloemhof of Shafter and Katie Staack of Hughson are alternates. Bob Silveira of Williams and Darren Rigg of Le Grand were elected to handler positions and Justin Morehead of Coalinga and Chad DeRose of McFarland to alternate handler positions. Christine Gemperle of Ceres was picked for the co-op grower position with Lucas Van Duyn of Ripon as alternate. They have been submitted to USDA for approval to begin Aug. 1. 

Jill Reilly has been promoted to state press secretary for Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. Before joining Tester’s office in 2022, Reilly was staff assistant for Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif.