CHESTERFIELD, MISSOURI, U.S. — The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) expanded its staff with the appointment of two public policy directors.

Kathy Reding Bergren joined NCGA on Feb. 21 as director of Public Policy for ethanol. A Kentucky, U.S., native, Bergren most recently served as legislative director for U.S. Representative Randy Neugebauer of Texas. She also previously worked for U.S. Representative Ron Lewis of Kentucky. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural communications and journalism from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Public Policy from George Mason University.

Lesly Weber McNitt joined NCGA on Feb. 27 as director of Public Policy for trade and biotechnology. McNitt joins NCGA from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), where she served as chief of staff for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and then the Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS). Previously, she worked at the lobbying firm Oldaker Biden & Belair, and then established the Washington, D.C., U.S., office for the Farm Journal Foundation. McNitt received a Bachelor of Arts degree in international affairs and a Master of Professional Studies in legislative affairs, both from The George Washington University.

“I’m excited to welcome Kathy and Lesly to the NCGA team,” said NCGA executive vice-president Jon Doggett.  “They will be front and center in our efforts to tell farmers’ stories, build relationships on Capitol Hill and with the new administration, and find common ground on today’s policy challenges. Ethanol and trade are two of our most important policy priorities. I know Kathy and Lesly are up to the challenge and ready to get to work.”