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Farm Journal Foundation Hires Lee, Barnes to Government Affairs Team

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 15, 2022) – Farm Journal Foundation is pleased to announce two new hires to its Government Affairs team who will help shape the organization’s vision and strategy going forward.

Katie Lee is joining the organization as Vice President of Government Affairs, and Kelsey Barnes is the new Director of Government Affairs. Both will work to advance policies and legislation that promote global food and nutrition security and support agricultural research and innovations that further the sustainability of our global food systems.

“Katie and Kelsey both have a wealth of experience working on international development issues and deep knowledge about U.S. agriculture’s role in achieving global food security,” said Tricia Beal, CEO of Farm Journal Foundation. “We are thrilled to have them join our team as we work toward promoting a more food secure future for all.”

Lee has spent nearly 15 years working in Washington, D.C., on global food security issues and international affairs. Prior to joining Farm Journal Foundation, she was a Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led engagement with key U.S. government agencies and members of Congress and directly managed over $8 million annually in U.S. advocacy partner investments. Previously, she led U.S. government relations on international development issues at InterAction, and worked for former Indiana Senator Richard G. Lugar on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff.

“As someone who has worked closely alongside Farm Journal Foundation for almost a decade, I’m thrilled to officially join the team and lead the organization’s engagements with the U.S. government,” Lee said. “My career has focused on advancing U.S. policies and legislation that promote global food security, and I look forward to collaborating even more closely with U.S. farmers in this work.”

Barnes joins the Foundation after serving as Federal Government Relations Manager at Syngenta, where she focused on numerous agriculture industry issues and managed the Syngenta PAC. Prior to this, she worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Secretary Sonny Perdue, serving in a number of roles including Chief of Staff to the Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Barnes also has international experience, having served as an agriculture advisor in a rural community of Ghana through AgriCorps, and as a soldier in the Army National Guard, where she worked on Operation Atlantic Resolve in Bulgaria, Germany, and Romania. She grew up on a farm in Tennessee.

“I am excited to be part of a team that provides expert policy solutions on global food security issues by connecting farmers and food producers directly to their members of Congress,” Barnes said. “I am proud to work and learn from a team of passionate advocates for agriculture around the world.”


Media Contact

Whitney McFerron, Communications Director

Farm Journal Foundation


About Farm Journal Foundation

Farm Journal Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving global food security by sustaining modern agriculture’s leadership role and ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population. The organization works to advance this mission through key issue areas, including global food security, agricultural research and development, nutrition, and conservation agriculture. To learn more, visit


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