Phil Karsting to Speak at CEC 2020 About Biden Transition, Ag Policy in New Administration

Jan. 20 will usher in a new administration under Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

To help understand what this may mean for agriculture, the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) has tapped Phil Karsting, senior policy adviser for the Washington-based law firm of Olsson Frank Weeda Terman and Matz, to address Country Elevator Conference 2020.

Karsting will speak at 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, during the morning General Session.

During the Biden campaign, Karsting, former administrator of USDA's Foreign Ag Service during the Obama administration, organized a group of “Rural 2020” thought leaders to provide input to the candidate and his policy team on agricultural and rural issues.

At CEC 2020, he will provide an update on the transition already underway, as well as the Senate confirmation process to follow.

Karsting will also discuss – to the extent he can – the Biden administration’s philosophical and strategic approach to agricultural and trade policy, as well as its focus on climate-change policy and rural development and how they may fit into the new administration’s policymaking. To submit a question to NGFA for Karsting, email Rebecca Grubbs, NGFA vice president of meetings and marketing, at

Karsting, a Nebraska native, also has served as interim president and CEO of World Food Program USA, which advocates for the United Nations’ World Food Program, after previously serving as the U.S. organization’s vice president for public policy.

He has more than 22 years of agricultural policy experience on Capitol Hill, starting on the staff of his hometown Democratic U.S. Sen. J.J. Exon.

He later served as a senior analyst for the Senate Budget Committee and then as deputy chief of staff and chief of staff for former Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl during his tenure as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee until Kohl retired in 2013.

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