Big-name companies abandon food industry trade group

A Washington heavyweight among food industry trade groups, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, has lost two additional members who are long-time titans in the sector, Hershey and Cargill, reported Politico.

Organic farmer group names policy chief

The Organic Farmers Association, a national membership organization advancing the interests of certified organic farmers, said that it named Mark Rokala, a lobbyist on agriculture issues, as its policy director and also elected a policy committee. This new leadership will facilitate the association's policy platform.

Lobbying by the ‘good food’ sector is ‘limited to non-existent’

The "good food" sector, which includes Chipotle, Whole Foods and Applegate, are making inroads in the marketplace, but when it comes to policymaking, "their involvement on Capitol Hill, on issues from the farm bill to nutrition labeling, has ranged from limited to non-existent," says Politico.

Head of largest U.S. farm group to retire in January

Cattle and rice producer Bob Stallman will retire as president of the American Farm Bureau Federation in January, after 16 years as leader of the organization.

In sweetener duel, corn refiners challenge sugar subsidies

The Corn Refiners Association, a trade group whose members make sweeteners, ethanol and starch, "just hired 10 outside lobbyists for an aggressive, unorthodox attack on the federal sugar program just a year after a new farm bill was signed into law," says the Washington Post.

Newly created meat group hires Thompson as lead lobbyist

North American Meat Institute, the result of a trade group merger, said it hired Fred Thompson, as its senior vice president of legislative affairs.

PepsiCo lobbyist is named staff director for Senate Ag panel

Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts named Joel Leftwich, a lobbyist for PepsiCo, as the committee's staff director and selected one of his Senate aides, Wayne Stoskopf, as a committee staff member, said a committee statement.

NFU proposes no beef checkoff money to groups that lobby

The second-largest U.S. farm group called for "a major course correction" of the beef checkoff program. The National Farmers Union spelled out five principles "to turn the checkoff into an effective tool," including a referendum every five years on...

California water district pumps money into lobbying

The nation's largest water district ramped up its spending on Washington lobbyists as drought deepened in California, says a story by Southern California Public Radio and the Center for Responsive Politics.