FARMERS FOR FREE TRADE ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD MEMBERS
Mar. 29, 2021
Source: Farmers for Free Trade news release
Washington, D.C. - Farmers for Free Trade, the bipartisan, non-profit dedicated to supporting policies that benefit trade and export opportunities for American farmers, food producers and ranchers, today announced five new Board members. Farmers for Free Trade is a coalition supported and comprised of America's leading ag organizations and businesses. The new board members include key policy leaders from throughout the food and ag supply chain. The new members of the Board are:
• Michael Anderson, Vice President, Trade and Industry Relations, Corn Refiners Association
• Bob Hemesath, Iowa corn farmer and hog operation owner, Iowa Corn and National Corn Growers Association member
• Angela Hofmann, Co-Founder of Farmers for Free Trade; Practice Head, Eurasia Group
• Lauren Sturgeon, Director of Government Relations, CoBank
• Maria Zieba, Director for International Affairs, National Pork Producers Council
"Farmers for Free Trade's newest Board members have all built careers that reflect our central mission: to help deliver economic opportunity for American agriculture," said Brian Kuehl, Executive Director for Farmers for Free Trade.
"Whether that's through opening new markets, modernizing ag infrastructure or limiting unnecessary barriers to trade, these are leaders who know the policies and people we are fighting for. They are going to help lead our efforts to promote the job-creating benefits of trade and infrastructure with a new Administration and Congress.
"They will also help us better tell the stories of farmers who want access to the 95 percent of customers who are outside America's borders. American ag and food producers, who have helped us weather this pandemic with a steady reliable food supply, need our support to strengthen supply chains and open new markets. Our new Board members will help lead the way," said Kuehl.
Sara May, former President of the Farmers for Free Trade Board of Directors has retired from the Board. Angela Marshall Hofmann Co-founded Farmers for Free Trade and served as co-director for the past four years. With Sara's retirement and the addition of these five members, Farmers for Free Trade is now governed by a seven-member Board of Directors. Steven Noah, who serves on the board of his family farm in Iowa and has led many international trade efforts, serves as the Board President and Karen Heyneman, a rancher from Montana serves as the Board Secretary.
"We're pleased with the diversity of interests on the Board of Directors," said Steve Noah, President of Farmers for Free Trade. "With members from leading ag organizations and businesses and with producers and policy experts, this organization is well positioned to understand the needs of America's farmers and to continue making a difference for food and agriculture in 2021 and beyond."
Farmers for Free Trade is a 501(c)(4) non-profit dedicated to informing the public about the benefits of free trade and mobilizing farmers and ranchers to take action to support beneficial trade agreements that expand export opportunities for American farms and ranches.
Biographies of New Farmers for Free Trade Board Members:
Michael Anderson is Vice President, Trade & Industry Relations for the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), the trade association representing the corn milling industry. He has over 25 years of experience in the international trade, agriculture, and economics in the government and private sector. At CRA he provides strategic and tactical leadership to CRA and its members regarding trade policy, transportation, and co-products reporting programs, and industry affairs. He leads and coordinates CRA's Trade, Statistical Reporting, Transportation, and Co-products Committees and manages the association's statistical reporting program.
He played a leading role in CRA's successful efforts to secure passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to replace the NAFTA. Anderson serves on several industry coalitions, working groups, and committees including, U.S. Chamber of Commerce's International Policy Committee, International Grains Trade Coalitions' Policy Working Groups, U.S. Grains Council Trade Advisory Team, National Association of Manufacturers Trade Steering Committee, Rail Customer Coalition, Agriculture Transportation Coalition, and U.S. - U.K. Trade Working group (co-chair).
As a cleared advisor on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC), Anderson provides technical advice on agriculture trade issues to USDA Secretary Perdue and USTR Robert Lighthizer.
Bob Hemesath is a farmer and trade leader from Northeast Iowa. Her raises corn and co-owns and operates a wean to finish hog operation, raising over 2900 acres of corn and finishing 40,000 hogs a year. He has been Director and President of Iowa Corn. He has also been a National Corn Growers Association member, specializing in trade work. He has been on numerous trade missions with Iowa Corn, US Grains Council and US Meat Export Federation. His close proximity to the Mississippi River has also influenced his work as a farm and ag infrastructure advocate.
Angela Marshall Hofmann has served as a trusted advisor to members of the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch as well as to CEOs and senior executives in complex, multi-national organizations. She currently serves as Corporate Practice Head for Industrials, Retail and Supply Chain for Eurasia Group, a global geopolitical risk firm based in Washington, D.C.
In the Spring of 2017, Angela co-founded Farmers for Free Trade. In 2015, Angela founded World Strategies, a woman-owned and operated consulting firm which focuses on supply chain and global investment advisory services including crisis management. She is also a staunch advocate for international trade and leads grassroots advocacy efforts on behalf of agricultural producers, manufacturers and small businesses.
In 2002, Angela joined Walmart Stores, Inc. as Director of International Trade in the Federal Government Relations office in Washington, D.C. She then served the company for over 14 years in several leadership roles including as Vice President, International Corporate Affairs at company headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, where she led the company's external engagement in 40+ retail, ecommerce and sourcing countries around the world.
Lauren Sturgeon is an experienced ag, public works and trade policy specialist who currently serves Director of Government Relation at CoBank. CoBank, a member of Farmers for Free Trade, is one of the largest private providers of credit to the rural economy, delivering loans, leases and other financial services to agribusiness and rural infrastructure in all 50 states. Over the course of Lauren's career she has worked for the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works as well as members of Congress and state elected officials. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University.
Maria Zieba is Assistant Vice President of International Affairs for the National Pork Producers Council trade policy program focusing on opening, maintaining and increasing market access for U.S. pork. Maria works closely with U.S. and foreign government officials to advance U.S. pork producers' export objectives. She also represents NPPC in various other stakeholder groups.
Maria also serves as a Cleared Advisor on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products, providing input to USDA and USTR on key issues affecting U.S. pork exports. Prior to joining NPPC, Maria was a trade policy manager for the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council, where she worked on various trade issues affecting the dairy industry. Previously, she worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service, managing capacity building projects aimed at increasing U.S. agricultural exports to emerging markets.
Maria is a member of the board of directors of the Women in International Trade. She holds a master's degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of California, Riverside with a double major in Political Science-International Affairs and Spanish. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and child.