WASHINGTON, DC – The Board of Directors of the National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC) proudly announces that Patrick Atagi has been named President and CEO of the only hemp industry trade association in Washington, DC. The NIHC continues to grow with new staff and leadership. Members, industry partners, hemp associations and international partners will meet with Atagi from November 14-16 at the NIHC Hemp Business Summit 2021 in Washington, DC
Atagi is currently a member of the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for cotton, tobacco, hemp and peanuts, which advises not only the Department of Agriculture but also the US Trade Representative (USTR) technical barriers to trade. Atagi is one of two members of the NIHC who serve on a USDA ATAC.
“Hemp’s economic promise has the ability to change the world,” said Atagi. “Its uses are almost limitless and you can find it in everything from food to clothing, building materials to manufacturing. Our goal at NIHC has always been and will be: to create a hemp economy that works for everyone. “
Under Atagi’s leadership, NIHC has achieved several achievements that have raised the profile of industrial hemp.
In 2020, the NIHC’s contribution to Congress was instrumental in expanding the hemp pilot program in 2014. That year, NIHC took the lead in formulating legislation from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to bring the legal definition of hemp to 1 % Delta-9-THC to change. NIHC has also worked with Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Sen. Paul to draft laws that give the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority not to use CBD just to make a dietary supplement; but also an ingredient in food.
Atagi led the board of directors in an initiative to successfully enroll NIHC as an official government partner through the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP), a public-private partnership in which the USDA brings together industrial funds to develop US commodities in the global economy . The NIHC was successfully awarded $ 200,000 by the USDA-MAP initiative.
“I am grateful to our board of directors and the members of NIHC for placing their trust in me to be a voice to lead our industry. We will continue to do the necessary work to promote the hemp brand, ensure consumer safety, and bring the US hemp industry to the global market, ”said Atagi.
Prior to this role, Atagi was vice president of advocacy and external affairs for the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association (NWPCA) and subsequently became executive director of the NWPCA Political Action Committee (PAC). Other senior positions in Washington, DC include director of the American Chemistry Council, secretariat of the World Chlorine Council, and director of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA).
Atagi has served in several positions at the USDA and the US Senate and has international and national experience in the private sector. Atagi served as the President’s Political Representative at the USDA; Confidential Assistant to the Secretary of State for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Assistant Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Director of Alaska and Native American Programs. He began his career in Washington, where he worked for then US Senator Mark Hatfield (R-OR), chairman of the Senate Grants Committee, on agricultural issues. He also remains President of DA Farms in Nyssa, Ore. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Maryland, Global Campus. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife, Tracy.