AFBF president joins Connected Nation board |

AFBF president joins Connected Nation board

AFBF president joins Connected Nation board

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall may lead one of the nation’s largest and most prominent nonprofits, but at heart he’s a third-generation farmer from Georgia. Duvall is someone who advocates for and understands well the challenges facing farmers, ranchers and others in rural America. Connected Nation is a nonprofit based in Bowling Green, Ky.

Its mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand access to and adoption and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies. “Our mantra is that ‘Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.’ If we are going to include all people, then that means we must find new ways to identify the coverage gaps and bring access to every part of America,” said Tom Ferree, chairman and CEO, Connected Nation. “Zippy is someone who can create change in this space, and we’re excited to have him join our board to provide his expertise and guide our efforts.” Zippy Duvall was elected president of AFBF in 2016 and was appointed to the White House Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations in December 2017. Also in 2017, he was honored by the National 4-H Council as a founding luminary. His legacy and long history of service to the farming community is well established and is marked by nine years as president of the Georgia Farm Bureau, where he was appointed to several state roles, including then-Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue’s Agricultural Advisory Committee.

Giess joins American Simmental Association staff

“Our mantra is that ‘Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.’ If we are going to include all people, then that means we must find new ways to identify the coverage gaps and bring access to every part of America,”

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Lane Giess, who was raised near Pierz, Minn., on a diversified cattle operation that includes registered South Devon and commercia cattle, has joined the American Simmental Association team as director of commercial and nontraditional data programs. He brings to ASA a background ranging from hands-on cattle production experience to developing novel phenotypic scoring methods in cattle. In his position, Giess will work with commercial cattle producers assisting them in taking advantage of the many commercial-oriented programs offered by the association, assist in educational and promotional programs and focus on the collection of nontraditional data. Giess graduated from Kansas State University where he earned a B.S. in animal science and industry and an M.S. in animal science with a focus on animal breeding and genetics. He was advised by Bob Weaber, and worked with the ASA and the Red Angus Association of America, developing a feet and leg scoring method and genetic evaluation to help the industry identify animals with feet and leg structure problems earlier in the animal’s life. During his time at KSU, Giess participated on the livestock and meat judging teams, and as a coach for the 2017 Reserve National Champion Meat Judging team. He also studied abroad in more than five countries focusing on food science and beef industry topics.

Minton named interim dean of K-State College of Ag, interim director of Research and Extension

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State University has named Ernie Minton as College of Agriculture interim dean and interim director of K-State Research and Extension. Minton, associate dean of research and graduate programs for the college, and associate director of research for K-State Research and Extension, replaced John Floros on July 1. In the interim role, Minton will be the chief administrative officer for the College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension. He will be responsible for overall program leadership, strategic direction, fiscal stewardship, fund development, policy formulation and impact assessment in accordance with the university’s visionary plan, K-State 2025. Minton, professor of animal sciences since 1995 and a member of the faculty since 1983, served as interim associate director of research and technology transfer for the Kansas Agriculture Experiment Station from 2008-2009 and associate director of research and technology transfer for the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station from 2009-2016. Among his many honors and awards, he received the 2017 Experiment Station National Excellence in Leadership Award from the North Central Regional Association of Experiment Station Directors and became a fellow of the Food Systems Leadership Institute in 2012. He has taken part in numerous leadership trainings and recently participated as an instructor in the North Central Regional Administrative Boot Camps for new administrators. He serves on several national and regional boards, including as 2018 chair of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Board on Agricultural Assembly Task Force on Strategic Realignment of National Institute of Food and Agriculture Budget Lines. Minton has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Western Kentucky University and a master’s degree in animal science and a doctorate in animal reproduction, both from Oklahoma State University.

O’Donnell named Yeutter Institute director

LINCOLN, Neb. — Jill O’Donnell became the first director of the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln on July 1. O’Donnell brings extensive experience in the international arena, working with public- and private-sector partners to address 21st-century challenges with an interdisciplinary perspective. Most recently, she was a consultant to the NATO Communications and Information Agency. She will use that experience as she works with the faculties of the colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Business and Law to create Yeutter Institute programs and curricula that address challenges in international trade and finance.

O’Donnell has lectured on trends in international trade for corporate audiences and educators, taught courses in political science and U.S. foreign policy at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and examined economic and policy themes related to South Korea as a consulting researcher and author for the Council on Foreign Relations. A native of Columbus, Neb., O’Donnell began her international policy career in Washington, D.C., serving on the legislative staff of U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel. She earned her master of arts in international relations and international economics from Johns Hopkins University and her undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va. To learn more about the institute, visit ❖

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