Co-FOUNDER + PARTNER
Dave has over 35 years of professional leadership experience in natural resource conservation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and in the private sector. After working in numerous locations throughout the United States, Dave was Chief of the NRCS from January 2009 to December 2012. As Chief, Dave led, directed, and managed the nation’s largest private lands natural resource conservation organization.
Dave has extensive experience in overseeing complex resource protection programs, working with diverse interests, developing and moving conservation legislation, and providing leadership for the successful implementation of natural resource goals.
While at NRCS, he developed and implemented natural resource conservation solutions directly with private landowners, primarily agriculture, working in cooperation with a wide diversity of partners. Under his leadership, the NRCS created and implemented landscape level conservation initiatives that focused financial and technical resources on solving problems at the appropriate ecological scales.
Dave has also spent significant time on Capitol Hill detailed to Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and Indiana Senator Richard Lugar. During which, he helped craft the conservation titles of both the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills.
Dave is an honors graduate of the University of Missouri where he studied agricultural journalism. He and his wife reside in Charlottesville, Virginia and have two grown children.
Pelham Straughn has a proven track record of over 17 years of bipartisan accomplishment culminating in the passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014, one of the only major pieces of legislation to come out of the 113th Congress.
The past four years Pelham Straughn served with distinction as the Policy Director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture under Chairman Frank Lucas leading his policy team during the formation, debate, and passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014.
During his 13 year tenure on the Committee, Pelham worked on three different farm bills, served two different subcommittee Chairmen (Congressmen Terry Everett and Bill Jenkins) and three different full committee Chairmen (Congressmen Larry Combest, Bob Goodlatte, and Frank Lucas) in many different capacities including Subcommittee Staff Director and Senior Professional Staff.
His portfolio included farm and commodity programs, conservation, trade, livestock, crop insurance, disaster programs, sugar, peanut, and tobacco programs.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Pelham graduated from Hampden-Sydney College and now resides on Capitol Hill with his wife and their daughter Catherine.