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News Archive

Month: November 2017

Farmers for Free Trade Deepens National and Local Impact

K·Coe Isom to Manage Operations and Support Farmer Outreach; World Strategies to Lead Policy and Grassroots Organizing

Agricultural policy experts to steer national bipartisan, grassroots campaign chaired by Sens. Baucus and Lugar

(Sheridan, WY/Bentonville, AR/Washington, D.C.) – Farmers for Free Trade announced today that their bipartisan campaign has retained the national agriculture consulting firm, K·Coe Isom, LLP, and the international affairs firm, World Strategies LLC, as momentum continues to grow behind the group’s mission to grow support for trade among farmers, ranchers, and in rural America.

Farmers for Free Trade is a bipartisan 501(c)(4) co-chaired by former Senators Max Baucus and Richard Lugar, focused on driving global competitiveness for the U.S. agriculture industry and supporting jobs that depend on agricultural trade.  Last month, the American Farm Bureau Federation announced that it was joining Farmers for Free Trade and would be coordinating closely with the new organization.

Management of Farmers for Free Trade will be led by Brian Kuehl, head of Federal Affairs at K·Coe Isom and the architect of the successful Farmers for Tax Fairness coalition. Brian will serve as Executive Director while K·Coe Isom’s Federal Affairs Director in Washington D.C., Ryan Stroschein will assist in day-to-day management of D.C. operations and agriculture association engagement.

Policy and grassroots advocacy will be led by World Strategies based in Bentonville, Arkansas.  Angela Marshall Hofmann will serve as Deputy Director and Jennifer Spall, Director of State and Local Advocacy.   Marshall Hofmann has over two decades of experience leading global trade initiatives in both the government and the private sector and is an expert in agricultural trade policy.  Spall is a nationally recognized public affairs and grassroots coordinator.

“K·Coe Isom’s leadership in the food and ag industry will help Farmers for Free Trade connect not only with farmers and ranchers, but also with the vast network of industries that depend on robust global trade,” said Brian Kuehl, Executive Director of Farmers for Free Trade.  “We plan to engage everyone from processors, to packagers, to lenders, and distributors in order to make the case that trade policy in Washington D.C. matters to their bottom line.

“As someone who grew up on a South Dakota farm, I know that D.C., and the decisions made there about global supply chains can seem distant and disconnected.” said Ryan Stroschein. “That’s why I’m so excited to help Farmers For Free Trade give voice to farmers who’ve seen their incomes decline and who need their products to reach the 95% of consumers outside our borders.”

“I’ve fought for open markets for American agriculture for decades and know that our agricultural communities depend on the ability to successfully grow and compete around the world,” said Angela Marshall Hofmann, Deputy Director of Farmers for Free Trade. “We will be working to mobilize, organize and educate in order to make the connection between rural America and Washington D.C. The people who put food on the table need to be at the negotiating table.”

“Farmers for Free Trade reverses the way trade advocacy has been done for decades,” said Jennifer Spall, Director of State and Local Advocacy. “We will be partnering with our nation’s governors, engaging local ag leaders, and sharing information about how trade policy impacts each state’s economic footprint.  Those inside the beltway need to hear from farmers and ranchers on the ground about how ag exports are keeping not only their families afloat, but the way that trade benefits ripple in the supply chain from farmer to processor to consumer.”

Brian Kuehl

A principal with K·Coe Isom, Brian Kuehl leads the firm’s Federal Affairs service area. Brian’s experience includes saving US farmers an estimated $5 billion, collectively, by initiating the Farmers for Tax Fairness coalition to oppose changes to cash accounting, resulting in an ag exemption in the 2014 House tax reform draft bill and more recent decisions in the House and Senate to not restrict the ability of farmers to use cash accounting. During the past 20 years, he has served as acting chief of staff, legislative director, and environmental and energy adviser to U.S. Senator Max Baucus. A leader in sustainability, he was awarded the Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and selected as a U.S.-Japan Leadership Foundation Fellow. Brian develops innovative solutions that lead to constructive outcomes, enabling all parties to thrive.

Ryan Stroschein

Ryan Stroschein is a formidable advocate for U.S. producers in Washington, D.C. With nearly two decades of policy experience. Ryan focuses on international trade, comprehensive tax reform, Farm Bill issues, sustainability, renewable energy, client education, analyzing draft legislation to determine its impact on producers, and advocating aggressively on behalf of clients to promote sound public policy. Ryan builds bridges between seemingly disparate communities, helping legislators better understand the impact of policy on the agricultural industry and farmers understand the inner workings of Washington, D.C. His mission is to collaborate with policymakers, producers, companies, opinion leaders, and other stakeholders to craft policy that helps producers succeed.

Angela Marshall Hofmann

Angela has served as a trusted advisor to members of the U.S. Congress and Executive Branch as well as to CEOs and senior executives in complex, multi-national organizations for over two decades. Previously, Angela was Vice President, International Corporate Affairs, at Walmart Stores, Inc. where she led the company’s external engagement in 40+ retail, ecommerce and sourcing countries around the world.  Prior to Walmart, she served as International Trade Counsel on U.S. Senate Finance Committee under Chairman Max Baucus.  Angela joined the Senator’s staff in 1989 as a congressional liaison in the State of Montana and in 1997, after receiving her Juris Doctorate from the University of Montana, was his legislative counsel for agriculture and trade in Washington, D.C. Angela is a staunch advocate for women’s empowerment and continues to be active in the Organization of Women in International Trade, a voluntary, non-profit association of professionals interested in international trade.

Jennifer Spall

Jennifer is a nationally recognized, creative-media and government-relations professional with 20+ years as a PR executive and company spokesperson. Most recently, Jennifer spent 11 years at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. serving as Senior Director of Corporate Affairs where she led the company’s political programs.  Managing a board representing a cross-section of the company’s high-level senior executives, she oversaw the multi-million dollar spending and compliance of the company’s PAC and corporate political dollars at the state and federal levels.  Additionally, she directed corporate grass tops/grassroots efforts and GOTV efforts. Her public-sector experience includes serving as an aide to former Governor Gary E. Johnson (R-NM) and intern to the late U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT), in addition to work on countless campaigns.   Her private sector experience work includes two of the largest public affairs and relations firms in the country, in addition to her own practice. She worked on a team to build the first private/public partnership on a high school for Intel Corporation and her client base has included agriculture, energy, technology and health care interests.


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