“Mary Kay’s experience in delivering policy results to America’s producers and consumers demonstrates her unmatched capacity for successful coalition building, strategic insight and political savvy,” said Laura Peterson, head of federal government relations, Syngenta. “She will contribute to our sustainable agriculture policy expertise. As one of the foremost experts on farm policy in the United States, with an exceptional background in legislative and administrative issues — from digital technology to the farm bill — Mary Kay will help us better serve farmers across the country.”
Thatcher, a 31-year veteran of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), said of her appointment, “I have spent my career advocating in the association and government worlds. I am excited to work in an industry capacity at Syngenta, a strong competitor with great people, a focused strategy, and superior products and services. I admire the guiding principles of The Good Growth Plan — it is truly a model approach for agriculture.”
In her role at the AFBF, Thatcher primarily lobbied for farm programs, crop insurance, conservation and credit issues. She is widely recognized as one of the most knowledgeable farm policy experts in the United States.
Prior to joining the AFBF in 1982, Thatcher was a legislative assistant for agriculture and trade to Senator Roger Jepsen of Iowa. Also, she served in President George H. W. Bush’s Administration as director of congressional and public affairs for the Farm Credit Administration.
Thatcher is a graduate of Iowa State University where she received degrees in animal science and agricultural economics. As a fifth generation Iowa farmer, Thatcher has owned and operated her farm in Iowa for the past 23 years, producing corn, soybeans and livestock.