WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2017 - Dudley Hoskins has taken what he hopes will be a very temporary job at USDA. The former public policy counsel for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture says he’s now a senior adviser with the department’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs. However, should Nebraska Ag Director Greg Ibach be confirmed as USDA’s undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs – as expected – Hoskins is in line to be Ibach’s chief of staff. Ibach and Hoskins, a Tulane grad with a law degree from Texas A&M, worked together last year when Ibach held the presidency of NASDA… As predicted in this column, Brooke Appleton this week moved into her new job as chief of staff for recently confirmed Deputy Agriculture Secretary Steve Censky. Appleton late last month left the National Corn Growers Association where she was director of public policy and political strategy.

President Trump plans to nominate Dennis Devaney of Michigan and Randolph Stayin of Virginia to be members of the U.S. International Trade Commission. Devaney is currently a counsel with the Varnum law firm, while Stayin’s 40-plus years in the practice of law have focused on international trade policy and trade regulation.

Former U.S. Agriculture Secretary and Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns has joined the board of directors of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska. The institute was founded in 2010 to address the global challenge of achieving food security with less stress on water resources. Johanns held the top job at USDA from 2005-2007.

Marci Schlup has left her position as associate director of the Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to seek a graduate degree from her alma mater, the University of Wyoming. Schlup is a former field representative for Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.

The Renewable Fuels Association re-elected Mick Henderson as the chairman of its board of directors. Henderson, general manager at Commonwealth Agri-Energy LLC, has been on the RFA board since 2006. Other officers elected for the 2018 board include Neil Koehler, with Pacific Ethanol, as vice chairman; and Charles Wilson, Trenton Agri-Products in Trenton, Nebraska, as treasurer. Bob Dinneen was re-elected as RFA’s president. The election took place last week at RFA’s annual meeting in Des Moines.

Melissa Rekeweg, the deputy director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, has been named interim director of the agency. Ted McKinney, who had been ISDA’s director, was confirmed by the Senate last week as USDA’s first undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs. Rekeweg, a Purdue grad and former Indiana FFA executive director, has been ISDA’s deputy director since 2014.

Steve Linscombe, who recently retired from the Louisiana State University Rice Research Foundation, is the new director of the Rice Foundation, where he’ll be helping to identify and support research projects that will help ensure the long-term sustainability and competitiveness of U.S. Rice.

Dr. Bob Young, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Chief Economist & Deputy Executive Director, Public Policy, plans to retire at the end of October after a distinguished career working on agricultural policy and related issues. Before joining AFBF, the widely-respected economist was the co-director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI), an internationally recognized policy analysis center which models global food, agriculture, natural resources and trade and before that, as the chief economist of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture. There he was active in the development of the 1990 Farm Bill, as well as various budget and disaster assistance bills. He also served as an associate professor in agricultural economics at the University of Missouri.