AFIA and NARA staff to serve on U.S. Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee

AFIA’s Gina Tumbarello and NARA president and key NARA staff has been appointed as new Agricultural Trade Advisors.

August 29, 2023

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) announced that Gina Tumbarello, AFIA’s senior director of global strategies, policy and trade, has been reappointed to serve on the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service’s Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for Trade in Grains, Feed, Oilseeds and Planting Seeds. Tumbarello has represented AFIA members on the ATAC since 2014 and provides valuable technical advice and information about U.S. animal food products and the industry to the secretary of agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

Tumbarello joins Constance Cullman, AFIA’s president and CEO, who has been serving on the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) since 2020.

“Last year, the U.S. animal food industry exported over $11 billion worth of feed and pet food products,” said AFIA President and CEO Constance Cullman. “The AFIA’s ability to provide ongoing industry representation to the U.S. trade negotiators is paramount to ensuring continued and further global market access for the U.S animal food industry and our vision for a healthier world through advanced animal nutrition. We are thrilled to continue being a voice for the country's nearly 5,650 animal food manufacturers.”

Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure the U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives reflect U.S. public- and private-sector commercial and economic interests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the USTR manage the committees.

Tumbarello will serve along with the other committee members until August 2027.

NARA staff appointed as new agricultural trade advisors

Kent Swisher, President and CEO of the North American Renderers Association (NARA), has been selected to serve on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC).

Swisher, who previously held a position on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products (ATAC), joins 130 other new private-sector representatives from the diverse U.S. Agriculture community, announced by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Thomas Vilsack, and U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, appointed to serve on seven agricultural trade advisory committees.

Additionally, Dana Johnson Downing, NARA’s senior vice president of International Programs, and Charles Starkey, NARA's vice president of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, have both been announced in two other ATAC positions.

Of the new appointments Swisher said, “we are honored to have been appointed to serve in these advisory roles by Ambassador Tai and Secretary Vilsack. These appointments are an example of how a small association like NARA consistently punches above its weight because our team brings a wide range of policy and technical expertise that can help guide the Administration’s strategy on trade.”