The AFBF announced two staff promotions |

The AFBF announced two staff promotions

The AFBF announced two staff promotions

John Newton Newton has been promoted from director, market intelligence to chief economist. In this role he will manage the American Farm Bureau Federation’s economics team in conducting analysis in support of the organization’s advocacy goals for reaching policy objectives.

In addition, he will direct the team’s market analysis on issues of interest to grassroots farmer and rancher members, and state Farm Bureau leaders and staff. Newton joined AFBF in 2016, bringing a wealth of experience from his previous positions, which include agricultural economist at the Agriculture Department, a fellowship with the Senate Agriculture Committee and chief economist at the National Milk Producers Federation. Newton earned his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from The Ohio State University; master’s degrees in economics and agricultural economics from The Ohio State University; and a bachelor’s degree in business economics from the University of Louisville. He will report to AFBF Vice President Public Affairs Dale Moore. Sarah Brown Dirkes has been promoted to a new role, executive director of industry relations. In this role, she assumes responsibility for identifying and building strategic partnerships with industry that support Farm Bureau’s mission. She will also develop strategies for engaging with industry to optimize strategic policy alliances that strengthen AFBF’s impact, in addition to communicating Farm Bureau’s value to various audiences. Dirkes joined AFBF in 2014 in a new role as director of external relations, where she brought expertise from her career in the produce industry and management consulting. Dirkes earned a bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in applied economics and management from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University. She will report to AFBF Executive Vice President Julie Anna Potts.

DeRouchey presented ASAS Extension Award

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Joel DeRouchey, Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry professor, was presented the Extension Award by the American Society of Animal Science on July 9 at the 2018 ASAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. DeRouchey grew up on a diversified purebred livestock operation in Pukwana, S.D. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University, and his master’s and PhD from Kansas State University. DeRouchey is currently an extension specialist in livestock nutrition and environmental management at K-State. His extension expertise is providing livestock producers with nutrition, regulatory and manure management compliance information. DeRouchey also provides leadership in training the next generation of swine producers by coordinating numerous youth activities to increase swine industry knowledge and awareness of career opportunities in swine production. DeRouchey works with the productive applied swine team that maintains 13 master’s and PhD students. He has co-authored more than 151 journal papers, 380 abstracts and 594 extension publications. He has been a co-advisor or active committee member for more than 50 master’s and PhD graduates. Joel and his wife, Julene, have three children, James, Jenna and Jacob.

Service to ag and extension recognized

Nebraska Extension in the Panhandle has recognized a Scottsbluff-area rancher-veterinarian and a long-time supervisor with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources for their years of service to agriculture in the Panhandle. A Torrington woman who covered Extension activities for years for the Scottsbluff Star-Herald newspaper was recognized for Service to Extension in the Panhandle. The ag honorees are Arden Wohlers of Scottsbluff, a retired veterinarian who still operates a cattle ranch along the Niobrara River, and Tom Hayden, supervisor at the Bridgeport office of the Department of Natural Resources. Sandra Hansen of Torrington, who spent nearly two decades at the Star-Herald newspaper covering agricultural and regional news, was honored for Service to Extension. The Service to Panhandle Extension Award, initiated in 2015, recognizes persons or groups whose contributions have furthered Extension activities in the Nebraska Panhandle. The Outstanding Service to Panhandle Agriculture Award recognizes persons or groups who provide outstanding service to agriculture in western Nebraska. Award criteria include value of work done or cooperation with UNL specialists or educators; leadership in agriculture; community service other than agriculture; and level of impact on Panhandle agriculture.

Tom Hayden is long-time supervisor of West Field Office Operations for the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, supervising the Bridgeport Field Office. He has been a state of Nebraska employee for 56 years, all of those with DNR except for the first five years out of high school in 1962. In 1990, he was named supervisor of the Bridgeport office. He is responsible for measuring stream flows across western Nebraska in the Niobrara and Platte rivers, administering surface water rights, and settling complaints between irrigators. In addition to working with irrigation districts, natural resources districts, and public within the field office area, Hayden oversees and supervises the satellite office in North Platte. Hayden assists in the administration of the North Platte Decree, the South Platte River Compact, and the Niobrara River Compact. As much as anybody, Hayden has an encyclopedic knowledge of the flows of the Platte River and the many streams and springs that are part of its hydrology. Arden Wohlers, retired veterinarian and University of Nebraska-Lincoln employee, operates a ranch along the Niobrara River in Box Butte County along with his wife, Sharyn. Wohlers, who received a DVM degree from Colorado State University, was a partner and owner of Pioneer Animal Clinic in Scottsbluff from 1975-98, then served part-time from 1998-2012. In 2001-2002 he was hired to continue operations of the UNL Panhandle Veterinary Diagnostic Lab during its transition before closing. From 2004-08, he continued as an Extension veterinarian for UNL. Wohlers, a fourth-generation rancher, continues the family legacy started in 1874, taking over the ranch from his father about 20 years ago. Looking for a challenge, a change of pace and more profitable than a commercial cattle operation provided, he experimented with bison, yak, Irish Black cattle and polled Hereford on black. He decided on the Akaushi breed after visiting Heartbrand ranch in Texas and liking the promotion and marketing opportunities they provided. He started raising Akaushi cattle about five years ago. He has volunteered in numerous organizations at the community, state and national level, including the Scottsbluff-Gering Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Committee, Riverside Discovery Center, Scotts Bluff county health board, the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association, Nebraska Cattlemen Foundation Board, North Platte Natural Resources District Board of Directors, Governor’s Riparian Vegetation Management Task Force, and USAID. He is a member of a number of professional organizations. As agriculture editor at the Star-Herald newspaper in Scottsbluff from 2000 until 2017, Sandra Hansen regularly promoted the 4-H program and its value to area families. 4-H personnel in the Panhandle noted that she was always able to find space in the newspaper’s weekly Farm and Ranch section, and elsewhere, for 4-H and Extension stories and photos that were submitted to the newspaper. In addition, Hansen was in charge of publishing an annual special section following each Scotts Bluff County Fair, which included photos, stories and pages of fair results. As editor of the Farm and Ranch section published every Sunday, she regularly published news submitted by Extension from throughout the Panhandle. She also covered numerous Extension events, such as field days and educational workshops. In addition to her time at the Star-Herald, Hansen has been an editor and reporter at the Torrington Telegram and also an office manager for a Peter Kiewit company in New Mexico. In recent months she has been relaxing from the pace of daily journalism and looking for further opportunities to write.

Cooper to succeed Dinneen at RFA

The Renewable Fuels Association announced that Bob Dinneen, its president and CEO, will leave that post to become the group’s senior strategic adviser in October, and that he will be succeed by Geoff Cooper, RFA’s executive vice president. Dinneen has been with RFA for more than 30 years, including serving as the organization’s president and CEO since 2001. During his tenure, Congress passed a bill establishing the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005 and significantly expanded and extended it in 2007. Dinneen “also played a crucial role in the creation of the reformulated gasoline and oxygenated fuels requirements; securing the RVP waiver for E10; working with states to adopt bans on MTBE; and multiple extensions of the ethanol blender’s tax credit and secondary tariff on imported ethanol, among other important victories,” RFA said in a news release. “Ethanol is a remarkable product that has an incredibly bright future filled with opportunity, and I am excited to help write the next chapter in our industry’s amazing story,” Cooper said in a statement.

CCA appoints 2018 board of directors

Each year during Annual Convention, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association conducts an annual business meeting in order to present, renew and accept the policy that has been created through the grassroots efforts throughout the year in committee meetings and at the local affiliate level. These policies are essential to guiding CCA’s efforts and priorities on both a state and national level for the Colorado beef industry. In addition to the policy development process, the new slate of CCA officers are accepted during this business session. CCA welcomes the CCA 2018 board of directors: President: Mike Hogue, Steamboat Springs; President-Elect: Steve Wooten, Kim; 1st Vice President: Janie VanWinkle, Fruita; 2nd Vice President: Troy Marshall, Burlington; Treasurer: Brett Datteri, Greeley; Northeast quarter reps: Robert Farnam, Brush and Jim Magnuson, Eaton; Northwest quarter reps: Tom Harrington, Carbondale & Philip Anderson, Walden; Southwest quarter reps: Al Heaton, Cortez & Mark LeValley, Hotchkiss; Southeast quarter reps: Curt Russell, Sugar City & R.J. Jolly, Kit Carson; Immediate Past President: Todd Inglee, Arvada; Past President: Tim Lehmann, Powderhorn. ❖


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