The National Turkey Federation has appointed Dale Nellor senior vice president of government affairs and Taya Machado as marketing manager. Nellor succeeds Leslee Oden, who became NTF's president and CEO July 1. He has more than 20 years of public policy experience at the National Water Resources Association, as an advisor to former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and at USDA Rural Development. Machado is a recent digital media graduate of Texas State University and has experience marketing barbecue festivals. Both will begin July 8. 

David Chavern has been named president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) effective Sept. 1 to succeed Susan Neely, who announced her retirement earlier this year. Chavern previously led the Consumer Brands Association. Neely once headed the American Beverage Association before taking the insurance industry trade association position.

Three new directors were elected to serve on the Farm Foundation board: Jason Brantley, vice president at John Deere; Krysta Harden, president and CEO at the U.S. Dairy Export Council, and Erin Nazetta, director at Broadview Group Holdings. Harden is a board member at large, Brantley fills a seat dedicated to the manufacturing industry, and Nazetta has a seat reserved for a graduate of the Young Agrifood Leader program. All were elected at the board’s June meeting.

Dan Durheim began a new position as chief operating officer of the California Farm Bureau on Monday. He was assistant vice president of sponsor relations at Nationwide Insurance and worked for nearly two decades for the Minnesota Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation. 

Dan .pngDan Durheim, COO of the California Farm Bureau. 

Stewart Verdery, who founded Monument Advocacy in 2006, is stepping down as CEO after 18 years. Partner John Murray will assume day-to-day operations of the public policy and public affairs firm. Monument Advocacy works primarily on food and agriculture issues. 

Mark Hayes started as vice president of global communications at the Futures Industry Association on Tuesday. He was vice president of communications at the Farm Credit Council. 

The Montana Grain Growers Association hired Kera Birkeland as director of policy. Formerly a Utah state representative and vice chair of the Utah Republican Party, Birkeland brings an array of government affairs, campaign management and legislative experience into the position. 

Shawn P. O’Grady has been elected chair of the Feeding America board. He retired Sunday as head of the North America Foodservice segment at General Mills. O’Grady succeeds Kelvin H. Taketa, retired president and CEO of the Hawai’i Community Foundation. Three new Feeding America board members were also elected: Julie Butner of Tarrant Area Food Bank, Kofi Bruce of General Mills and Rita Carreón of Unidos US. All began their terms Monday.

The American Seed Trade Association elected 2024-25 officers at its leadership summit in June. Dan Foor of DLF North America was elected chair, Dave Treinen of Syngenta first vice chair and Bryan Gerard of JoMar Seeds second vice chair. They began their duties Monday. Dave Armstrong of Sakata Seed completed his term as president during the meeting. 

Joe McNeely, president of The Andersons nutrient and industrial business, will retire at the end of 2024. On July 1, Andy Spahr, former vice president of the wholesale business, assumed the role of senior vice president overseeing the nutrient aThe Andersons Staff Change.jpgAndy Spahr, senior vice president at The Andersons. nd industrial segment. Spahr has been with The Andersons since 2011 in the grain group and fertilizer business. 

The Office of the United States Trade Representative tapped Brenna Dougan as acting assistant USTR for labor affairs. Dougan recently was deputy assistant USTR. 

Keyden Smith-Herold was promoted to legislative assistant in the office of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, for energy, environment, animals, natural resources, public lands and foreign trade. Smith-Herold has worked in several conservative House offices since 2021. 

Ashton Redd, a recent graduate of the University of Arizona in agribusiness and environmental water resource economics, began as a customer service and technical support representative for startup VandWater Inc. in Kansas. Redd was formerly an Arizona state FFA officer, Farm Foundation cultivator, and Agriculture Future of America Leader’s Conference attendee. 

Gerrit Marx took over as CEO of Case New Holland on Monday. He was CEO of Iveco Group and has 20 years in senior roles at McKinsey, Daimler Trucks and Bain Capital in Brazil, China, Europe and Japan. He succeeds Scott Wine, who resigned.

                   It's easy to be "in the know" about agriculture news from coast to coast! Sign up for a FREE month of Agri-Pulse news. Simply click here.

AMVAC, an American Vanguard company, promoted Rick Rice to business unit leader for application technologies. Rice will continue integrating AMVAC’s application technology business unit work with its precision ag technologies. He has experience in sales and marketing in crop protection, seed genetics, biotechnology and application technology. 

Cody Smith started a new role as director of climate initiatives at the Iowa Environmental Council. Smith has worked at the Center for Rural Affairs, Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute and the Boone County Soil and Water Conservation District in Iowa. 

Missouri Soybeans tapped Blake Barlow as director of research and agronomy. A Missouri native, Barlow will manage research and agronomic projects and serve as staff liaison between the North Central Soybean Research Program and the Mid-South Soybean Board. Barlow has experience in research and sales from a position with Bayer Crop Science. 

Blake-Barlow-Small- Missouri SOybeans .jpgBlake Barlow, Missouri Soybeans

Carter Forinash will cover environmental protection as a legislative aide in the office of Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va. He has worked in various Hill offices since 2022. 

Brian Wang joined the U.S. Grains Council in Beijing as a livestock sector advisor. He will be responsible for strategic planning and industry engagement to increase U.S. market share in China. Previously, Wang worked in logistics, the potato sector and the popcorn industry.

Zellinger Wool Co. of Frankenmuth, Mich., has ceased fiber processing after more than 114 years, the company announced last week. John Zellinger, one of its top officials, has joined Crescent Woolen Mills, Two Rivers, Wis., as a sales engineer to continue serving the Michigan firm’s customers.

Jasleen Vig has been promoted to legislative assistant in the office of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., covering agriculture, food, energy, natural resources, public lands and environment.  

William D. Dar, former secretary of agriculture in the Philippines, has been appointed chair of the board of trustees of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA). He succeeds Paul S. Teng, who was chair since 2013. Teng was a dean at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and once was plant pathology professor at the University of Minnesota and the University of Hawaii.

For more news, go to