Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are proud to announce the hiring of Ariel Wiegard as the organization’s incoming vice president of government affairs. Wiegard, a 15-year veteran of Washington D.C., will now lead policy/advocacy efforts to advance the mission of The Habitat Organization among lawmakers, industry partners, private lands stakeholders, and other conservation advocates.
“The Federal policy work of today creates the habitat programs of tomorrow,” said Ron Leathers, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s chief conservation officer. “North American wildlife populations, including our most coveted upland species, are directly tied to Capitol Hill. To that end, Ariel will oversee an experienced government affairs team who will continue to be a catalyst for the habitat issues members and landowners care about most.”
Wiegard will help strengthen PF & QF’s national-level advocacy efforts to improve policies that benefit pheasants, quail, and other wildlife, especially as they relate to the ongoing deliberations for a new and improved Farm Bill. Likewise, overarching concepts such as voluntary public access, North American Grasslands Conservation Act, and other initiatives with major, positive ramifications for members, landowners, and hunters will fall under her job purview.
As a regular face on Capitol Hill, Wiegard came to PF & QF after serving as director of government relations for the American Soybean Association. In her role, she advocated on behalf of 500,000 U.S. soybean farmers and 26 state and regional affiliates on policy to improve market access, environmental & economic sustainability, and movement of crops to market. Previously, she served as the federal government relations lead for the global agribusiness Syngenta, developing and executing the company’s legislative strategy and sustainability goals. Wiegard also notably served as the director of the Center for Agriculture & Private Lands for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, helping to enact policy to improve privately owned habitat and waters important to hunters & anglers.
Wiegard started her career in Washington as a fundraiser for numerous political campaigns and non-profits, after attending the University of Virginia for college and Vermont Law and Graduate School’s master’s program for environmental law and policy, where she focused on sustainable agriculture. She lives in Virginia with her husband, son, and two German Shorthaired Pointers. "Stepping into this role leading public policy at Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever feels like a natural fit,” says Wiegard. “As someone passionate about hunting and the outdoors, I am eager to deliver policy wins that incentivize thoughtful, on-the-ground conservation. Collaborating with dedicated colleagues and valued partners, who share the same ambitious vision to conserve and cultivate habitat in our favorite landscapes, fuels my excitement for the impactful work that lies ahead.”
For more than 40 years, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have excelled as advocates for improved conservation policy, guided by the organization’s 400,000+ members, supporters, and partners and 740+ chapters. For questions and interviews, please contact Ron Leathers at (651) 209-4919.
About Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
and Quail Forever
make up the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 575,000 habitat projects benefiting 24 million acres.