WASHINGTON, August 9, 2017 - Al Almanza, who retired last week as head of USDA’s Food Service and Inspection Service, didn’t stay retired for long. Almanza has been named head of food safety and quality assurance at Brazil-based JBS, the world’s largest meat processor. He’ll be based in Greeley, Colo., but his focus will be global.
High-level EPA exec Elizabeth “Betsy” Southerland has quit the agency after 30 years of service, charging that Trump administration policies at EPA have led to “the temporary triumph of myth over truth.” Southerland, who was running the Office of Science and Technology in the Office of Water, said in an exit memo that under new EPA chief Scott Pruitt, the agency had abandoned the “polluter-pays principle that underlies all environmental statutes and regulations.” An EPA spokesman said it was “hard to believe that Elizabeth Southerland is retiring because of a budget proposal and not because she's eligible for her government pension." He also wished her the best in her retirement and said the agency will continue its core mission of protecting the nation’s air, land and water.
The Senate last week confirmed Mark Green as the new administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Green, a former congressman from Wisconsin, has been running the International Republican Institute since 2014.
United Fresh Produce Association hired Mollie Van Lieu as senior director of nutrition policy. Van Lieu joins the association following the retirement of long-time nutrition policy leader Lorelei DiSogra. Van Lieu is currently senior associate, government relations at The Pew Charitable Trusts. The McDaniel College grad began her Washington, D.C., career in 2008 on the staff of then Rep. Todd Platts, R-Pa., working on his sponsorship of the 2010 Child Nutrition Reauthorization. She begins work for United Fresh on Sept. 5.
USA Rice is welcoming a new manager of government affairs. Frank Leach will be covering the legislative side of food aid, conservation, transportation, and trade. Leach joins USA Rice from the American Waterways Operators Association. He also worked on Capitol Hill for Jeff Landry, a former U.S. representative from Louisiana.
Today, Riceland Foods announced the expansion of their executive team with the addition of Ben Noble as Vice President of Marketing and Strategy.
Irene Rosenfeld is retiring from Mondelez after 11 years as chief executive officer. Dirk Van de Put, CEO of Canadian frozen food firm McCain Foods, will serve as Mondelez’ new CEO starting in November.
Deb Keller, a farmer from Clarion, Iowa, was elected chair of the U.S. Grains Council at the organization’s recent board of delegates meeting in Vancouver, Washington. Keller is a second-generation farmer and the past chair of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board. She will be the first woman to serve as chair in USGC’s 60-year history.
There’s been a big shakeup at Tyson Foods as the company reorganizes itself around its key segments: beef, pork and chicken and prepared foods. That means two executives – Chief Growth Officer Monica McGurk, and Andy Callahan, president of North American Foodservice and International – are no longer with Tyson. Three executives, meanwhile, have been put in charge of the different segments, leading them from “end to end,” as Tyson put it. Sally Grimes is heading up prepared foods, Doug Ramsey has poultry, and Noel White is running beef, pork and international. “This simple design creates individual responsibility for the performance of our segments to enable faster, better decisions,” said CEO Tom Hayes.
David Binkle, the Los Angeles’ Unified School District’s former food services director who was widely praised by former First Lady Michelle Obama for creating healthier school lunches, was charged with multiple counts of misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement, forgery and perjury, according to a statement issued by prosecutors and first published by the Los Angeles Times. Prosecutors accused Binkle of siphoning roughly $65,000 worth of school funds to his culinary club and personal accounts. In a 2015 email to the Times when he was under investigation, Binkle denied any wrongdoing.
Adam McClung, executive vice president of the Arkansas Cattlemen's Association, succumbed to a severe bacterial infection Sunday evening. He is survived by his wife Chantel and young daughter, Maggie Blair. An memorial fund has been set up in memory of Adam for his daughter, the “Maggie Blair Education Fund” in memory of McClung at Peoples Bank, 20409 Arch Street, Little Rock, AR 72206.
Turkey producer Lowell Koch passed away Thursday after a brief battle with lymphoma. Koch and his wife of 64 years, Elizabeth, grew Koch’s Turkey Farm, an organic and antibiotic-free turkey farm in Pennsylvania, from 1,300 turkeys per year in 1953 to nearly one million per year today. Koch’s son, Duane – the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the farm – passed away in June.