(Jan. 6) LAS VEGAS — A 12-year veteran of Monsanto Co. has succeeded Jerry Wright as leader of the Idaho Falls, Idaho-based United Potato Growers of America, and her first task will be to help establish a Salt Lake City headquarters for the cooperative.

Julia Cissel has been named chief executive officer. She has more than 20 years of experience in the agricultural industry, most recently with Renessen LLC, a Chicago-based joint venture between Monsanto and Cargill. There, she was director of global strategy and marketing.

A separation of the national office from the Idaho office has been planned since the inception of the cooperative in March, Cissel said, but not until mid-December did it choose Salt Lake City as its new home. United plans to hire four new employees to help staff the new office.

Jerry Wright, formerly interim chief executive of United Potato Growers of America, has taken the role as chief executive officer of the United Fresh Potato Growers of Idaho. Wright was with Authentic Specialty Foods, Chino, Calif., and General Mills, Minneapolis, before he joined the Idaho group Feb. 28.

Cissel started Dec. 15. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from the University of Chicago and a master’s in biomedical engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.