WASHINGTON, Feb. 1, 2017 - A World Food Program spokesperson said that WFP head Ertharin Cousin won't seek a new five-year term. Cousin's term as WFP executive director expires on April 6. The Chicago native was nominated for the post in 2009 by then-President Barack Obama.
Rep. Lynn Jenkins, who’s been representing the 2nd Congressional District in Kansas since 2009, says she won’t be running for reelection in 2018. Jenkins says she plans to “explore opportunities in the private sector” and “will not be running for any office” when she leaves Capitol Hill. Jenkins had been repeatedly mentioned as a potential candidate to replace Republican Gov. Sam Brownback in 2018.
Matt Schertz and Bart Fischer have been promoted at the House Agriculture Committee. Chairman Mike Conaway named Schertz staff director following the recent departure of Scott Graves. Schertz is currently the majority policy director. Fischer will be appointed deputy staff director, while continuing to serve as chief economist, a position he’s held since 2011. Schertz joined the committee way back in 2002 to work for then-chairman Larry Combest…. Graves, meanwhile, landed at Williams and Jensen where he’ll focus on the firm’s food and agricultural practice. In a press release, Williams and Jensen noted that Graves, while on Conaway’s staff, worked closely with House leadership on major agriculture-related legislative initiatives, including the 2008 and 2014 farm bills.
Clay Hollis, until recently a legislative assistant to Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., has accepted a position as director of external affairs with the Florida Department of Agriculture.
Tristan Colonius is a new international policy analyst with the Food and Drug Administration. A veterinarian, Colonius had been serving as a legislative assistant for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., advising on issues including agriculture, antimicrobial resistance, animal welfare and foodborne disease control. He also worked for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service in the Carolinas in 2011 and 2012.
Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., has hired Ty Betka as a staff assistant in his Washington office. Betka, a University of Nebraska grad, has a strong background in Nebraska politics, having completed internships with State Sen. Jim Smith and U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse. Smith has also hired Phillip Black as a community liaison in his Scottsbluff office. Prior to joining Smith’s staff, Black worked as a legislative assistant at the American Institute of CPAs in Washington.
Former House Speaker John Boehner is one of five new appointees to the board of directors for JBS International, a subsidiary of Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA. The others are: former ConAgra executive Greg Heckman; Charles Macaluso, director of management consultancy with Dorchester Capital Advisors; Steven Mills, formerly with Archer Daniels Midland; and Dimitri Panayotopoulos, vice chairman of the board at Procter & Gamble. Boehner is also a board member at tobacco giant Reynolds American where he reportedly nets $400,000 a year.
Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., has hired Brad Pfaff as his deputy chief of staff, to assist with agriculture policy, constituent relations and strategic planning. For the past seven years, the Wisconsin native has worked at USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
Michael Frolich has left Growth Energy to take a position as communications manager with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers. He’d been serving as director of communications with Growth Energy since May 2012.
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Jeff Davis, chairman of the largest Arby’s franchise group, has been elected chair of the National Restaurant Association board of directors. Greg Hamer will chair the board of the NRA’s Educational Foundation. The officers serve one-year terms. Davis is chairman of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based United States Beef Corp. restaurant group, which has 332 Arby’s in eight states. Hamer owns B&G Food Enterprises Inc., which operates 94 Taco Bell, Taco Bell/KFC, and Taco Bell/Long John Silver franchise restaurants in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Sam Tippmann of New Jersey-based Tippmann Innovation was recently elected to the board of directors of the International Association for Cold Storage Construction. Brian King of A M King will continue to serve as the group’s 2016-2017 chairman. Also staying in their current positions are: Tim Nguyen of ESI Group, vice chairman; Vince Free of SubZero Contractors, treasurer; and Erik Gunderson of Primus Builders Inc., immediate past chairman.
Indiana agriculture is mourning the death of Mauri Williamson, who passed away this week at the age of 91. Williamson was executive director of the Purdue Ag Alumni Association for many years and the driving force behind the Pioneer Village exhibit at the Indiana State Fair. Don Villwock, former Indiana Farm Bureau president, said the state has lost “one of the greatest agricultural leaders and storytellers of all time,” adding, “Purdue lost its greatest ambassador.”