This son of an agriculture co-op exec swore as a college journalism student he’d never have anything to do with agriculture, agribusiness or anything rural, and now Steve Kopperud boasts more than 25 years' experience in agriculture and food industry government relations and strategic communications. The former senior vice president of the American Feed Industry Association, he wrangled state and federal government relations programs for the 600-company association, while serving as treasurer of its political action committee. Steve made the move from newspaper and magazine reporting and editing to lobbying with relative ease and very little guilt.
A big believer in no one wins legislative battles alone, Kopperud is a coalition builder, leading enactment of federal preemption of the Uniform Commercial Code to gain clear title for ag product buyers; the Animal Facility Protection Act/Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act to protect ag, food and biomedical research from animal rights and environmental radicals; the Animal Drug Availability Act/the Animal Medicinal Use Clarification Act and related legislation to ensure farmers and ranchers have access to new animal health products; he convinced Congress to enact federal income risk insurance for livestock producers, and he’s worked more Farm Bills than he cares to remember. Steve is also proud of a host of regulatory victories as part his conviction food and agriculture need to operate with responsible regulation. These efforts have made Steve an expert in appropriations issues, as well as regulatory proposals coming out of USDA, FDA, EPA, USTR and the Department of Homeland Security.
Recognizing U.S. consumers don’t understand production agriculture the way they should, Steve is the founder and past president of the Animal Industry Foundation-now the Animal Agriculture Alliance-an education foundation representing farmers and ranchers, animal science, and agribusiness. Steve has spoken about the liability of unenlightened consumers and the threat of animal and environmental activism – and how companies and producers must deal with the assault – across the U.S., Europe, Mexico, China and Canada.
Steve is a former newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, was the Washington, DC bureau chief for a major television network’s publishing division, and has become a sought-after strategic communications expert, public speaker, and media trainer.