WASHINGTON, May 31, 2017 - Val Dolcini, until recently the administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency, will be taking over as CEO and president of the Pollinator Partnership effective June 1. He’s replacing Laurie Davies Adams, who is stepping down after 21 years of leadership at the non-profit.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation says Dan Halstrom, the current senior vice president of marketing, will take over as president on Sept. 1 and add the CEO title Dec. 1. Philip Seng, who has held the two leadership position since 1990, will remain as USMEF CEO emeritus through July 2018.

Shawna Newsome is going to work for Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., after more than three and a half years with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, where she was associate director of communications… Andrew Forbes is back on Capitol Hill, this time as legislative director to Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. He’d been working for the lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates for the past seven years. Previously, the Lafayette College alum was on the staff of former Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla., and with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Tony Eberhard, the former deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., has joined the International Dairy Foods Association as vice president of legislative affairs. Before joining Hoeven’s staff in 2011, Eberhard was a senior principal responsible for legislative affairs at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Luke Tomanelli has signed on with Bayer as deputy director of federal relations and policy. Tomanelli previously worked for former Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, which Vitter chaired until his retirement at the end of last term. Tomanelli’s portfolio with Bayer includes energy, environmental and agricultural policy.

The Environmental Defense Fund hired Josette Lewis as associate vice president for ecosystems and sustainable agriculture. For the past four years, Lewis has led the World Food Center at the University of California, Davis. She has also held various leadership roles on agriculture and food security within the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Geoff Whaling has been elected to serve as board chairman of the National Hemp Association. An NHA board member since 2016, Whaling is president of the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council and a member of the Pennsylvania Farmers Union Board of Directors. 

Rodale Institute named Jeff Tkach as its chief growth officer. Tkach has served on the development committee of Rodale’s board of directors in 2016. He’ll resign from the board when he takes the new job on July 1. Prior to joining the Rodale Institute, he worked with Rodale Inc., serving as managing director of Rodale’s Organic Life and Prevention.

Good luck to Max Starbuck, who retired from the National Corn Growers Association after 13 years of service to the organization, most recently as director of market development. During his tenure, he also managed mycotoxin research efforts and the National Corn Yield Contest.

Michael Cosh, a research hydrologist with the Agricultural Research Service Hydrology and Remote Sensing lab in Beltsville, Md., has been honored with an Arthur S. Flemming Award for using satellites to improve soil moisture measurements. The award honors outstanding federal employees with three to 15 years of federal service for their exceptional contributions.

Members of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association elected David Zilberman as their next president. Zilberman is a professor in the Agricultural Resource Economics Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Members also elected two new board members: Katherine Baylis is an associate professor of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, and Norbert Wilson is a professor of Food Policy at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. The trio will assume their new roles following AAEA’s annual meeting, July 30-Aug. 1 in Chicago.