Thornton to leave Farm Bureau for Soybean Board |

Thornton to leave Farm Bureau for Soybean Board

The United Soybean Board in Chesterfield, Mo., has hired Mace Thornton, executive director of communications at the American Farm Bureau Federation, as the soybean board’s vice president of communications and marketing.

Thornton has worked for Farm Bureau for 34 years, with five years at the Kansas Farm Bureau and 29 at Farm Bureau headquarters in Washington. He will leave Farm Bureau on June 7 and begin his work at USB on June 10. In a note to the Farm Bureau staff, Dale Moore, the Farm Bureau executive vice president, noted that Thornton had recently overseen the Farm Town Strong rural opioid campaign, an effort that earned the Silver Anvil recognition from the Public Relations Society of America. That initiative was a unified effort of Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union. Moore also noted that Thornton will be inducted into the Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame for career achievement by the Agricultural Relations Council.

Representing Colorado’s produce growers

Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Board Member Bruce Talbott, Talbott’s Mountain Gold, Palisade, met recently in Washington, D.C., as a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fruit & Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee. Also on the advisory committee is Tom Lipetzky, Colorado Department of Agriculture. The committee is to act as a sounding board for the USDA to determine the effectiveness of their programs and to identify needs that are not being met. When Talbott was appointed last fall, he said he hoped to work through the committee to develop a better farm labor program that is “much less bureaucratic than the current H2A program and that treats both the employer and the employee very well and ultimately results in a safe and secure food supply continuing to be produced inside the United States.”

Diamond V adds dairy expert to serve western Iowa, eastern Neb.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Diamond V continues to expand, with Kari Leonard joining the company’s Midwest Team as a regional sales manager. She brings dairy wellness knowledge to the position, especially in the areas of biosecurity, genomics, milk quality and transition. “I’m excited to have Kari on the team,” said Diamond V District Sales Manager Mitch Deimund. “In this role, she will work closely with our technical experts to support producers, nutritionists, veterinarians, and feed production professionals.” Leonard was raised on a registered Simmental farm in west central Iowa. She has a bachlor’s degree in public service and administration from Iowa State University. After completing her studies in 1991, she joined The Upjohn Co. in northwest Iowa. Since then, she’s transitioned through several company mergers including Pharmacia, Pfizer Animal Health and Zoetis covering Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Nebraska. She is based in Holstein, Iowa, and can be reached at

Little to leave Roberts for NAMI

Sarah Little, communications director in the personal office of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., will leave to become the vice president of communications at the North American Meat Institute. Roberts announced Little’s departure and the promotion of two staff members. Little confirmed that she would join NAMI. In a news release, Roberts noted that “Sarah started on my staff as an intern from Prairie Village, Kan., 20 years ago” and had “worked hard on behalf of Kansas and the nation, especially following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, and most recently for America’s farmers and ranchers.” Stacey Daniels, Roberts’ press secretary, will be promoted to communications director in the personal office. Daniels previously worked in the House of Representatives as a communications director. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and worked as a television reporter in Columbia, Mo., and Eugene, Ore. Meghan Cline, the Republican press secretary on the Senate Agriculture Committee for the past four years, has been promoted to communications director for the committee. Previously, she served as assistant director of communications for the National Pork Producers Council. Cline was born and raised in Dalton, Ga., and earned bachelor’s and master of science degrees in agricultural communications from the University of Georgia and Oklahoma State University, respectively. ❖

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