ARDEN HILLS, Minn. – Land O'Lakes Inc. announced that it has hired Jason Weller, former chief of the US Dept. of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Weller will join the company as a senior director of sustainability starting Feb. 27. Weller will report to Matt Carstens, senior vice president for the Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN business unit, which was created in the second half of 2016.

"Land O'Lakes SUSTAIN is driving bold action around the complex issues of conservation and productivity while protecting and preserving our natural resources – all essential to the future of food and agriculture," Carstens said. "We continue to build a team to push boundaries and tackle these challenges head on, and I am proud to announce that Jason will be joining our team leading some of our most critical sustainability and conservation efforts."

During his tenure with NRCS, Weller led a staff of 10,500 NRCS employees across the country. He worked one-on-one with farmers and ranchers to help protect and improve the quality of their operations' natural resources. “While at NRCS, Jason led the effort to significantly expand the agency's partnerships with public and private organizations – including agricultural retailers, agricultural supply chain companies and food companies – to provide innovative and effective services for agricultural producers,” according to a company statement.

In addition, Weller held various other agriculture and natural resource conservation leadership positions, including with the US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, on the US House Budget Committee and in the White House Office of Management and Budget where he assisted with the development and implementation of the President's budget for USDA conservation programs.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and a master of public policy degree from the Univ. of Michigan.