Benjamin Bell will join the National Association of Wheat Growers as director of government affairs for farm policy on Wednesday, July 13.
In his new role, Bell will lead the organization’s efforts on farm policy, crop insurance, transportation and trade issues. Among other things, he will be the primary NAWG staff member working on Title I programs, crop insurance and trade issues for the 2012 Farm Bill.
“The next few months and years will be very important to the future of U.S. farm and trade policy, and we are excited to have Ben coming on board,” said NAWG Chief Executive Officer Dana Peterson.
“Ben brings a depth of experience gained by working for Members of Congress, in associations and on the farm that will be important as we enter a time of change for federal farm programs. We are thrilled to have someone joining our team who can bring all of these experiences to bear in our work for wheat farmers.”
Bell has most recently been a director of government affairs at the American Forest and Paper Association. Prior to that, he was a senior legislative assistant focusing on agriculture in the office of former Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.) for five years, including during the 2008 Farm Bill negotiations.
Since coming to Washington more than 10 years ago, Bell has also worked for the Southern Governors’ Association, Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Rural Development Association.
“I am excited to again be working to represent America’s farmers,” Bell said. “It is especially important as we approach the next farm bill to help to protect the farm safety net for both our nation’s farmers and the consumers who rely on a stable and affordable food supply.”
Bell is originally from Morgan City, La. His family owns farmland that is used to produce sugarcane, soybeans, and wheat. He remains engaged in farming in both Louisiana and Maryland.
When Bell is not working with farmers and Members of Congress on policy matters, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with his wife and two children, including taking them out to the farm.
Melissa George Kessler, NAWG, mkessler (at) wheatworld.org