Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Tuesday April 19 Ag News

 Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska Announces Full Concert Line-Up and More

The Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska, a charity whose mission is to raise money for cancer research through an annual fundraiser, today announced country singer-songwriter Ned LeDoux and Nebraska native Tommy O’Keeffe will join John Michael Montgomery as the musical acts for the 2022 event taking place at the Cass County Fairgrounds in Weeping Water, Neb., on Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4.

Country music star John Michael Montgomery will headline the event, as announced by Cattlemen’s Ball organizers in December. Montgomery will perform on Saturday evening.

Following Montgomery’s concert, Cattlemen’s Ball attendees will enjoy an after-party performance by country singer-songwriter Ned LeDoux. LeDoux, son of the late country music artist Chris LeDoux, has released three albums and opened for names including Garth Brooks and Toby Keith in addition to headlining his own shows. LeDoux says Ball attendees can expect a high-energy show that mixes his western roots with the rock and roll influences he acquired in his youth.

Tommy O’Keeffe, a country singer-songwriter from Hastings, Neb., will perform for ticketholders on Friday night. O’Keeffe, who moved to Nashville in 2018, was nominated for “New Artist of the Year” at the 2022 Rocky Mountain Country Music awards through iHeart Radio. He has also co-written several songs for other artists that have amounted to more than two million streams.

Activity Announcements

In addition to announcing the concert line-up, Cattlemen’s Ball organizers note several additional activity announcements:
• Pick-up raffle: Raffle tickets to win a 2022 GMC Denali pick-up truck donated by Tom Dinsdale Automotive are now available for purchase. The drawing will be held on Saturday, June 4.
• Golf tournament: Registration for a four-person scramble at Quarry Oaks Golf Club in Ashland, Neb., is now open. The tournament will be held on Friday, June 3.
• Stampede 5K Fun Run/Walk: Registration for a 5k run/walk to be held on Friday, June 3, in Weeping Water will soon be available.

Details on these activities can be found at

Volunteers Needed

The money raised through Cattlemen’s Ball activities is used for cancer research at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha. Since the inaugural event in 1998, the Cattlemen’s Ball has raised more than $16 million to fund cancer research.

The hosts of this year’s Ball have set an informal goal to raise $2 million, which would be a record-breaking accomplishment. As a completely volunteer-run event, organizers are currently seeking people to make the event a success.

“From the Art Tent to the General Store, and from wine tastings to the set-up crew, we have a volunteer opportunity right for you,” said Mark Rathe, one of the event hosts. “Or, if you're unsure of where you'd best fit, we'll place you in a volunteer role based on need.”

To learn more about volunteering, visit

Purchase Tickets

Tickets to the event are on sale now and can be purchased at

While the event is open to all, there is a level of exclusivity. Ticket sales are capped at 1,500 for the two- day “Trail Boss” pass and 3,000 for the Saturday-only “Top Hand” pass.

“We expect this to be a sell-out event,” Rathe said. “So, we encourage anyone interested in attending the 2022 Cattlemen’s Ball to get their tickets now. We can’t wait to see everyone in Weeping Water in June!”

NSB seeks project proposals for FY23 funding cycle

The Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) is now accepting proposals for FY23 which strategically align with these four initiative areas: Farmer Support, Production & Crop Research, Community Engagement and Demand & Utilization. The FY23 fiscal year starts October 1, 2022 and ends September 30, 2023.

All project plans should address opportunities for education, research or growing demand for soy, and benefit all Nebraska soybean farmers. More details on the NSB proposal process, including timelines, initiative areas and strategic plan documents can be viewed here:

“The Nebraska Soybean Board continues to look into opportunities that grow demand for soybeans and add value for Nebraska producers,” said NSB executive director, Scott Ritzman. “This year is exciting as we roll out a new strategic plan and roadmap that works towards accomplishing our mission of growing value for Nebraska farmers by maximizing their checkoff investments.”

For over thirty years, NSB has dedicated soybean checkoff funds to support Nebraska soybean farmers and the industry as a whole. Previously funded work includes research and promotion of biodiesel, increased exports of red meats, bolstering value of exports through the Pacific Northwest, and education projects focused on the importance of soybeans in Nebraska agriculture.

“If you have an innovative idea that aligns with our goals, we encourage you to join us,” said NSB chairman, Doug Saathoff. “It really takes a team to create opportunities for Nebraska soybean farmers and that is a team I am proud to be a part of.”

Proposals will be evaluated on their effectiveness at addressing the needs of Nebraska soybean farmers and the overall alignment with NSB’s current strategic plan.

Proposals are due no later than May 13, 2022. To access the proposal form, please visit:

Additional questions can be directed at Scott Ritzman at 402-441-3240 or

Ricketts Signs Legislation to Encourage Rural Development & Promote Ethanol Sales

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts signed LB 1261e during a ceremony at the Nebraska State Capitol.  LB 1261e extends the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development Act, which had been set to expire at the end of 2022.  The bill also expands the Nebraska Advantage Rural Development incentive program to provide ten times the amount of available tax credits annually for eligible investments in rural Nebraska.

LB 1261e includes provisions from LB 596 to provide tax credits to fuel retailers selling E15 or higher blends of ethanol.  Retailers can apply to the Nebraska Department of Revenue for a credit of 5 cents on each gallon of E15 sold and 8 cents per gallon of E25 or higher blends sold.

“LB 1261e will help to grow Nebraska agriculture and attract investment in our rural communities,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “The bill also encourages fuel retailers to offer higher ethanol blends.  Increasing the use of ethanol saves drivers money at the pump, cleans up our environment, and creates opportunities for our farmers and ranchers.”

Senator Dave Murman of Glenvil introduced LB 1261e.  Senator Joni Albrecht of Thurston introduced LB 596, known as the Higher Blend Tax Credit Act.  Contents of Senator Albrecht’s bill were incorporated into LB 1261e.


– Jerry Volesky, NE Extension Pasture & Forage Specialist

Pastures are starting to green-up.  That is usually a good sign, except when most of the green is coming from weeds.

In warm-season grass pastures, an abundance of early weeds will remove moisture that could be used for grass growth later on and they remove valuable nutrients from the soil.  Early weeds also can develop so much growth that they can shade, smother, and reduce early growth of your summer pasture grasses.

Herbicides like glyphosate and imazapic (Plateau®) as well as prescribed burning can control many early weeds, but I think another method is actually better — grazing.  Heavy, pre-season grazing costs you nothing.  In fact, you get some feed from these weeds while herbicides or burning would only kill and remove growth.  Plus, this early pasture might be especially valuable if it saves you from feeding expensive hay this spring.

For mixed cool- and warm-season grass pastures, early flash grazing also can be used, but we do want to be a little more cautious as to not overgraze any desirable cool-season grasses.  In areas where cheatgrass or downy brome is a problem, grazing at strategic windows, such as during the cheatgrass elongation phase right before seed set, appears to be the best time to apply grazing.  Grazing at this time matches diet preference by grazing animals with the cheatgrass growth period and limits over use on perennial coo-season grasses growing at the same time. Targeted grazing is a long-term management option that can utilize cheatgrass as a forage resource and limit the potential seed proliferation within a system.

While early flash grazing of some pastures will not eliminate all the weeds, it can actually make for some pretty timely and valuable pasture.  

Nebraska’s NRDs Plant 100 Millionth Tree

Since their inception in 1972, Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) have been planting conservation trees and shrubs for windbreaks, erosion control, wildlife habitat and other conservation purposes. This spring, the NRD Conservation Tree Program plants their 100 millionth tree – that’s approximately 50 trees for each Nebraskan.

“Nebraska has a proud history of planting trees, and putting the 100 millionth tree in the ground reflects Nebraskans’ willingness to invest in the future,” said Dr. Orval Gigstad, Nebraska Association of Resources Districts president. “Our tree planting success is owed to the forward-thinking vision of landowners.”

Each year, the NRD Conservation Tree Program provides hundreds of thousands of low-cost, bulk trees for planting across the state. Districts collect orders for trees between November and March, then trees are distributed in April in time for spring planting. A majority of NRD conservation trees are sourced from the U.S. Forest Service’s Bessey Nursery in Halsey, Nebraska.

Gigstad noted that extreme weather events, diseases and invasive insects have impacted Nebraska’s tree population, but recent public-private partnerships demonstrate Nebraska’s tree planting spirit.

According to recent data released by the U.S. Forest Service, Nebraska’s trees and forests are experiencing steady declines. However, a newly formed partnership to reverse this trend has gained significant momentum with the announcement of a $4.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The Nebraska Forest Restoration Partnership brings together the Nebraska Forest Service, the state’s NRDs and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to address declines in the state’s forests and windbreaks. Using the award, partners will work directly with landowners to increase the scale and pace of forest restoration statewide. This includes planting 1.5 million trees, providing new management of 30,000 acres of declining forests, increasing the health and resiliency of 7,000 acres of vulnerable forests and restoring 250 linear miles of agricultural windbreaks.

In December, Executive Travel also announced a partnership with Nebraska’s NRDs to plant 1 million trees over the next five years through the ETGreen campaign, starting with 50,000 trees in 2022. This partnership gives Executive Travel the opportunity to assist local landowners in planting all 1 million trees in Nebraska.

“When Executive Travel was building the ETGreen initiative, we wanted to partner with a local organization dedicated to a sustainable future and a beautiful Nebraska,” said Steve Glenn, Executive Travel chairman. “This great network of local landowners who plant hundreds of thousands of trees through the NRD annually guarantees trees are planted and cared for.”

Each NRD program varies, but possible tree program services include planting, weed barrier installation or weed control, and drip irrigation. For more information on cost share availability, designing a plan or ordering trees, contact your local NRD or visit

Natural Resources Districts’ staff and directors will plant the ceremonious 100 millionth tree on the Nebraska Capitol grounds in a public ceremony this fall.

Throughout 2022, the NRDs will commemorate breakthroughs and achievements in conservation. To join in the celebration and follow the Natural Resources Districts’ special activities throughout 2022, visit and follow #Since1972 on social media.

Celebrate Earth Day on the Farm: What Is Sustainability?

Earth Day is this Friday, April 22, and it’s a great time to recognize and bolster your on-farm sustainability practices. That might include things like:  
• Replacing traditional light bulbs with LED bulbs
• Installing alternative energy sources such as solar panels  
• Using manure as an organic fertilizer to boost soil health  
• Planting tree buffer areas  
• Monitoring and conserving water usage  

Taking care of the land is a value that’s been passed down for generations among farmers. For pork producers, sustainable agriculture means doing what’s right for people, pigs and the planet.

Sign up to receive a customized On-Farm Sustainability Report to take credit for work you're already doing on your operation

Red Meat, Poultry Consumption Expected to Slow in '22

Per capita red meat and poultry disappearance is expected to modestly decrease in 2022. While it is often used as a proxy measure for consumption, per capita meat disappearance is a measure of the supply available for use in domestic markets, including fresh and processed meat sold through grocery stores and used in restaurants.

In aggregate, the forecast is driven by a decrease in total red meat disappearance (-0.30 percent) that more than offsets an increase in total poultry disappearance (+0.11 percent). Despite the fractional net decrease, the 2022 value is expected to reach a near record high, second to the previous high in 2021. Over the last decade (2012-21), per capita meat disappearance has generally been on an upward trend, with an overall increase of 22.5 pounds.

The latest USDA forecast indicates that in 2022, U.S. consumers will have access to 224.6 pounds of red meat and poultry on a per capita retail weight basis. This forecast is 0.2 pounds lower than last year, and 10.3 pounds higher than the 2012-21 average. Looking at the main protein species, 2022 per capita disappearance for beef and pork is expected to decrease by 0.34 and 0.20 percent, respectively, because of lower livestock inventory.

Disappearance for broilers and turkey is expected to increase by 0.11 and 0.35 percent, respectively. Sustained by a steady production growth trend, 2022 broiler disappearance adds to a decade-long stretch of year-over-year increases. The increase in turkey disappearance marks the first year of increase since 2016.

Women and Mentors Program: Accepting Applications Now!

Join us for the second class of the NCGA Women and Mentors Program to be held in St. Louis on June 27-28. In addition to networking with other women committed to their success, participants learn how to quiet their inner critic, explore what they can learn from another woman’s leadership journey, and develop an action plan for their own mentorship journey. Each participant will leave the retreat with an action plan and mentorship pairing to help each other reach their goals.

In this second year of the program, participation is expanding to include a state, national, and industry staff component—creating a support network and a place for these women to discuss issues they face as women in a male-dominated industry.

Members of the new class will be welcomed to ongoing quarterly virtual leadership lunch and learn sessions already underway with the prior year’s participants.

Do you know of any women looking for the next step in their leadership journey? Anyone, male or female, who has a vested interest in increasing the number of women in leadership positions within agriculture? Please have them apply here

Biden NEPA Framework Compromises Environmental, Economic Goals

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council (PLC) today expressed concern that the Biden administration’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rule undermines progress made over the last several years at a time when efficient regulatory processes are critical to environmental and economic sustainability.
“When it comes to federal regulations, ranchers are often caught in the middle of political whiplash, and this CEQ process is no exception,” said NCBA Executive Director of Natural Resources and PLC Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover. “Livestock producers and land managers need regulatory certainty and consistency. By returning to a pre-2020 standard, this rule returns environmental analysis to a failed model that industry and government have long agreed is woefully inadequate and inefficient. This failed model will stall important environmental projects, delay critical infrastructure improvements, and impede progress made as part of ongoing NEPA processes.”
In addition to their role in water, transportation, and conservation projects nationwide, NEPA regulations play a foundational role in all activities on federal lands. Over the past several decades, NEPA processes have become inefficient and the source of an immense amount of regulatory red tape and uncertainty as producers renew grazing permits, improve rangeland, and participate in USDA voluntary conservation programs.
NCBA and PLC, in conjunction with the American Sheep Industry Association, previously submitted comments in response to the Council for Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and have long advocated for a NEPA process that is targeted, concise, and timely.

NYC Mayor Adams Backs Off Proposed Ban of Flavored Milk in Schools

NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern

“Dairy farmers and the cooperatives they own are pleased that Mayor Adams isn’t moving forward with a misguided ban on flavored milk in schools and instead maintaining New York City schools’ ability to offer a wide variety of milk that’s consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Flavored milk is rich in nutrients like calcium, potassium, and vitamin D; its consumption as an aid to better student nutrition is supported by parents, physicians, and public health professionals alike. Just this spring, the U.S. Department of Agriculture moved forward with a rule to allow schools to offer low-fat flavored milk for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years.
“Today’s victory is the product of diligent work. We particularly thank Representatives Antonio Delgado (D-NY) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) for their advocacy in support of continued flexibility for schools to serve children healthy milk and dairy products that benefit their growth and development.”

USDA Seeks Nominees for the United Sorghum Checkoff Program Board

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking nominees for the United Sorghum Checkoff Program Board (Sorghum Board) to succeed four members with terms that expire in December 2022. Nominees are needed to succeed members that include two to represent Kansas, one to represent Oklahoma, and one to represent Texas. The deadline for nominations is June 3, 2022.

Sorghum producers within the United States who own or share in the ownership and risk of loss of sorghum production are eligible for nomination. A sorghum producer must be nominated by a certified producer organization and submit a completed application. The Secretary of Agriculture will select individuals from the nominations submitted.

The 13-member Sorghum Board was established to maintain and expand the market for sorghum. A list of certified producer organizations, the nomination form and information about the Sorghum Board are available on the AMS United Sorghum Checkoff Program webpage and on the board’s website, For more information, contact Barbara Josselyn at (202) 713-6918 or

As Congress Prepares for Hearing, Ranch Group Urges Rejection of Compromised Cattle Market Reforms

Yesterday, in preparation for the U.S. Senate agriculture committee’s upcoming April 26, 2022, hearing on the Cattle Market Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2022 (S.4030), R-CALF USA sent a comprehensive letter to the committee’s chair, ranking member and members urging rejection of the entire section of the bill that purports to reform the cattle market.  

Calling the cattle market section an ineffectual reform to the abject market failure plaguing the U.S. fed cattle market since 2015, and further stating that the reforms decisively favor the status quo, the group states Congress is giving the U.S. Department of Agriculture carte blanche as to whether the packers will be required to change their current procurement practices and is giving the USDA two years to make its decision.

The group points out that the only market-impacting directives from Congress are that the already low volumes of cattle the beef packers purchased on average in the competitive cash market during 2020-2021 cannot be further lowered and the cash purchase requirement cannot be set above 50%. It then asserts these floor and ceiling directives run counter to the findings of two new economic studies, one from Georgetown University and the other from Iowa State University, that make it clear that the alternative marketing arrangements (AMAs) that predominate the market, combined with packer concentration, are causing cattle prices to be low and beef prices high.

These new studies, according to the group, should substantially alter Congress’ thinking regarding what market reforms are needed to restore competition to the cattle market. Just one of the study’s findings identified in the letter is that a one percent increase in the fraction of cattle purchased under AMAs is associated with a 5.9% reduction in the cash market price for cattle.

In its recommendation to Congress, the group suggests the cattle market reforms be substituted with the spot market protection bill (S.949), which the group stated was a better starting point for achieving more immediate and meaningful reforms.

In its conclusion, the ranch group explained why Congress must do more than what is contemplated in the Cattle Market Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2022 to address the dire conditions faced by U.S. cattle producers. It stated, “The prolonged and chronically dysfunctional cattle market combined with persistent and widespread drought, and further worsened by record feed prices, will likely spell absolute disaster for the United States cattle industry as we know it today.

Smithfield Foods and Lineage Logistics Unveil Fully-Automated, Next-Gen Distribution Center

Smithfield Foods, Inc., a vertically integrated global food company and one of the world’s largest pork producers and processors, and Lineage Logistics, LLC, the world’s largest and most innovative temperature-controlled REIT and logistics solutions provider, today announced the opening of an automated, next-generation distribution center in Olathe, Kansas.

Lineage designed and built the new facility to enhance Smithfield’s complex distribution network, which supplies thousands of destinations with frequent shipments of protein in varying quantities. Spanning nearly 20 million cubic feet with over 62,000 pallet positions, the distribution center’s innovations provide new levels of operational efficiency and reliability via automation.  

At the facility’s core are 18 automated cranes that move inventory into, out of and within the facility, which also features one of the largest temperature-controlled layer-picking systems in the world. Layer-pickers disassemble and reassemble pallets of goods, a process previously performed manually. As a result, the robotics and software fully automate over 97% of the product movement through the facility.

Lineage sponsored academic research in mathematics to determine how to schedule and dispatch components in the facility, increasing throughput capability. Computer vision systems automatically identify the contents of each pallet, decreasing the building footprint. Lineage’s technology teams refined the robotic layout in simulation, stress-testing it against high growth, food holidays and even March 2020 panic-buying.

The facility also features Lineage’s patented blast cell technology (US Patent #10,663,210) that reduces freeze time and energy use by approximately one-half relative to traditional blast cells, aligning with Smithfield’s industry leading commitment to sustainability. Smithfield has pledged to become carbon negative, reduce GHG emissions 30% and halve food waste in its U.S. company owned operations by 2030.

“We are thrilled to announce the opening of the state-of-the-art facility that Lineage designed and built for Smithfield in Olathe,” said Greg Lehmkuhl, President and CEO of Lineage. “At Lineage, we seek to partner with customers who are dedicated to transforming the food supply chain and, by leveraging our innovation and expertise, Smithfield will optimize their operations for speed and efficiency.”

“Our new facility in Olathe represents the pinnacle of supply chain technology. It combines innovations in robotics, numerical simulation, thermodynamics, algorithms, computer vision and software to enable reliable and efficient access to food,” explained Sudarsan Thattai, Chief Information Officer and Chief Transformation Officer of Lineage. “Olathe is the foundation of our automated future.”

“As a major food company feeding a growing global population sustainably, we’re continually working to implement enhancements across our value chain, including our distribution network, to support our customers and reduce our environmental footprint,” said Shane Smith, President and CEO of Smithfield. “We’re pleased to partner with an innovation-driven company like Lineage to further optimize our operations and better serve our customers. ”

“Automation is increasingly important element of our strategy to achieve efficiencies across our business and exceed customer expectations,” said Brady Stewart, Chief Operating Officer for Smithfield Foods. “The opening of our new facility in Olathe brings unmatched innovation and new levels of resiliency to our supply chain.”

“Lineage Logistics’ decision to build the Smithfield Foods distribution center in Kansas is confirmation that our central location, strong infrastructure and world-class workforce are exactly what companies need to expand business operations,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This project is a major win for Olathe and the state as a whole. Lineage exemplifies the type of businesses we are working to attract and retain, and their investment helps solidify our role as a 21st century hub for transportation, logistics and distribution.”

In addition to state-of-the-art software inside the building, the facility features Lineage Link™, a customer experience platform that provides Smithfield unprecendeted access, visibility and control to their product. With the ability to see inventory levels and receive timely alerts, Smithfield can place the necessary orders and schedule the shipments to ensure their product reaches consumers when it is needed. This platform in turn seamlessly interacts with the operating software to ensure the tasks are prioritized for the requisite appointments to maintain the highest level of throughput and productivity. With this software investment, Lineage is pushing the bounds of what is possible in the food supply chain by creating a network in which food suppliers, carriers and distributors maintain a level of access and control that ultimately builds a stronger, more robust food system.

The Center for Food Integrity Names French Executive Director   

Mickie French, an accomplished global expert in food value chain communications and marketing strategy, is the new executive director of The Center for Food Integrity (CFI). CFI is a not-for-profit with a diverse membership whose sole mission is to help today’s food system earn consumer trust.

French has extensive experience in the food industry, from agriculture to ingredients to CPG, helping high-profile companies and organizations develop and implement purpose-driven approaches. Her expertise has positioned her as a trusted strategy and innovation partner with a knack for bringing together multiple stakeholders to drive significant impact on critical issues.

“Mickie brings a wealth of experience, energy and insight into her new role,” said Charlie Arnot, CFI CEO. “Her background is an ideal fit for an organization focused on earning consumer trust and collaborating to move the food industry forward.”

“I’m honored to have been chosen to lead this amazing purpose-driven organization,” said French, a Nebraska native who is passionate about tackling the mounting issues facing farmers and the food industry today. “Every step in my career path has led me to this role where I’ll work diligently with our members and beyond to bring together every part of the food value chain, from farmer to consumer, to champion a sustainable food system and face head on the challenges before us.”

In senior strategic leadership roles with advertising and public relations firms, French has worked with some of the world’s most powerful brands to launch them into new markets or reposition them for growth and success. She has lived and worked in 10 countries and her impressive client roster includes CPG companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, Mars, Inc., Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson, as well as B2B companies including SAP, Honeywell, Visa and myriad healthcare companies. She also led the turnaround of communication agency offices in China, Russia, Australia and Mexico.

An advocate for global education, French has served on the executive leadership committee and various other volunteer committees of The Thunderbird School of Global Management where she earned an MBA in International Management. She also was a frequent guest lecturer at the Singapore Management University and the Budapest University of Economics.

French, who will work from her home office in the Chicagoland area, begins her new role Mon., May 2. She takes over for Terry Fleck, who announced his retirement late last year. Fleck has served as executive director for 15 years, since the organization’s inception.

“Having helped create and grow CFI, I have both a professional and personal stake in seeing that it remains a strong and vital organization,” said Fleck, who will continue to serve CFI, providing consultation and support as needed. “We’re in good hands. I couldn’t be more impressed with Mickie and all that she brings to the table. Her unique skill set and global perspective will serve this organization well.”  

The CFI Board of Directors approved French’s appointment Thurs., March 24.

“Choosing a new executive director for any organization is a significant step, especially filling the shoes of Terry, who has been a phenomenal leader,” said CFI Board President Craig Wilson, vice president and general merchandising manager of Quality Assurance and Food Safety for Costco Wholesale Corporation. “The decision was unanimous, and deservedly so. We couldn’t be more excited to work with Mickie, who we know will lead with excellence and serve with passion for an industry that she knows and loves.”      

French was selected in a national search conducted by executive search partner Kincannon & Reed. To learn more about CFI, its leadership, membership and mission, log on to

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