The American Feed Industry Assn. (AFIA) board of directors has selected Constance Cullman, current president of Farm Foundation, to succeed Joel Newman as president and chief executive officer of the association upon his retirement later this year. She will also become the president of the industry’s public charity, the Institute for Feed Education & Research. Cullman will officially join AFIA on July 29.
Cullman’s appointment concludes several months of searching for a new leader during which the AFIA board selection committee interviewed a diverse range of qualified candidates. The board sought a visionary leader with strong communication skills that could bring together teams across the organization and the industry to lead on priority issues.
“Constance Cullman not only has a high track record of success, but she has the vision, integrity and passion for leading the U.S. animal food industry into its next chapter,” AFIA board chair Bruce Crutcher said in a statement. “As the U.S. animal food industry looks to create market opportunities in the global trade environment and better communicate with consumers about the industry’s sustainability efforts, we believe Cullman’s experience and foresight will serve our members well by opening new doors for dialogue about the issues impacting U.S. animal food manufacturers’ license to operate."
He continued, "On behalf of the board and AFIA’s members, I would like to welcome Constance Cullman to the animal food industry and thank Joel Newman for his 15 years of dedicated service to our industry.”
Cullman has served in her current position as president and CEO of Farm Foundation for the past three years, during which the organization tackled such challenging issues as innovation in food and agriculture, infrastructure, antimicrobial use in food producing animals, human capital, conservation, broadband access for rural America and the Farm Foundation Food & Agricultural Trade Resource Center.
"Over the past three years with Constance leading the team, Farm Foundation has strengthened its role as a convener of all voices in the food and agriculture sector and as a source of objective analyses," said Joe Swedberg, chairman of the Farm Foundation board of directors.
Prior to that role, she served as the U.S. government affairs leader for Dow AgroSciences; senior director of regulatory, technical and international affairs at the Corn Refiners Assn.; associate administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service; vice president of agricultural ecology at the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and extension associate at The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.
Cullman has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and a master’s degree in agricultural economics with an emphasis on international trade and agricultural policy from Ohio State. She hails from Marysville, Ohio, where her family owned and operated a cow/calf farm.