The National Turkey Federation (NTF) today announced the hiring of a new leader for its communications team and the promotion of other staff members.

Beth Breeding joined NTF on Aug. 1 as Vice President of Communications and Marketing, while Lisa Wallenda Picard has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Policy, Trade and Regulatory Affairs and Leslee Oden to the position of Vice President of Legislative Affairs.

“The addition of Beth and the promotions of Lisa and Leslee further strengthen our outstanding team of professionals at the National Turkey Federation,” said NTF President Joel Brandenberger. “Beth brings to NTF nearly a decade’s experience on Capitol Hill and, with it, a depth of knowledge in developing an effective, forward-looking communications strategy.

“Lisa and Leslee have done outstanding work on behalf of the turkey industry. Lisa is an expert in her field, and she will continue to provide top-notch resources and support to NTF members. Leslee has been an invaluable member of our Legislative Affairs team since 2010, and she is ready to take over more of the day-to-day direction of our advocacy activities on Capitol Hill. Both are in an excellent position to take this next step in their careers.”

As Vice President of Communications and Marketing, Breeding will work to advance the shared priorities of NTF’s membership by educating the public on the industry, encouraging Americans to serve turkey and serving as a liaison to the news media. She comes to NTF from Capitol Hill where she served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director to Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). Breeding previously served in communications roles for Congressmen H. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas). She earned her master’s degree in political management from George Washington University and her bachelor’s degree in communication from Virginia Tech. Breeding is originally from Fort Defiance, Va.

As Senior Vice President of Policy, Trade and Regulatory Affairs, Picard will continue to serve as the primary resource and advocate for NTF members on all regulatory matters. Her promotion reflects her ongoing responsibilities in the trade arena and her work coordinating complex policy issues affecting the turkey industry. Picard joined NTF in 2011 as Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs. Previously, she was the Chief of Staff for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Prior to joining FSIS in 2002, Picard served as National Director of Public Relations for Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus. She also spent several years lobbying on animal welfare and agriculture issues. Picard earned her master’s degree in legislative affairs from George Washington University and her bachelor’s degree in communications from Flagler College in St Augustine, Fla. She is a native of Sarasota, Fla.

As Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Oden will assume increased responsibilities for guiding the federation’s legislative efforts on Capitol Hill and coordinating NTF’s grassroots outreach. Oden has been with NTF since 2010 as an integral member of the Government Relations team, serving as Legislative Director prior to her new role. In addition to day-to-day legislative duties, she also played a key role in increasing contributions to TURPAC, NTF’s political action committee, from $80,000 annually to more than $200,000 per year. Oden earned her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in poultry science from Texas A&M University and is originally from Leona, Texas.

The National Turkey Federation is the national advocate for America’s turkey farmers and producers, raising awareness for its members’ products while strengthening their ability to profitably and safely deliver wholesome, high-quality and nutritious products to consumers worldwide.