WASHINGTON — Benjamin Bell is joining the National Association of Wheat Growers July 13 as director of government affairs for farm policy.

Mr. Bell will be responsible for leading the group’s efforts in the areas of farm policy, crop insurance, transportation and trade issues. His specific duties will include acting as the primary NAWG staff member dealing with Title I programs, crop insurance and trade issues for the 2012 farm bill.

“The next few months and years will be very important to the future of U.S. farm and trade policy, and we are excited to have Ben coming on board,” said Dana Peterson, chief executive officer of NAWG. “Ben brings a depth of experience gained by working for members of Congress, in associations and on the farm that will be important as we enter a time of change for federal farm programs.”

Most recently, Mr. Bell was a director of government affairs at the American Forest and Paper Association. Earlier, he spent five years as a legislative assistant focusing on agriculture in the office of former Representative Bob Etheridge of North Carolina. His tenure included work on the 2008 farm bill negotiations.

Mr. Bell also has worked for the Southern Governors’ Association, Representative Sanford Bishop of Georgia, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Rural Development Association.

Originally from Morgan City, La., Mr. Bell’s family farmland produces sugarcane, soybeans, and wheat. He remains engaged in farming in Louisiana and Maryland.