Senate Ag Chairman Roberts fills key committee posts

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2015 - Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., today announced several key selections to the panel's senior staff. They include:

--Julian Baer, Senior Policy Adviser for Nutrition. Baer joined the Senate Agriculture Committee early in 2013. His issue portfolio includes nutrition, horticulture and specialty crops. Baer previously spent 12 years working in agriculture, food and nutrition policy, holding positions at OFW Law, FoodMind, the Food Marketing Institute and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce where he worked on the 2004 reauthorization of the child nutrition programs. Baer grew up on a Christmas tree farm outside Ithaca, New York. He graduated from Clinton College where he focused on government and education studies.

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--Janae Brady, Senior Professional Staff for Trade, Food Aid. Brady most recently worked at Gordley Associates where she represented the soybean industry on issues related to trade, international development, biotechnology and food aid. Prior to this, she worked as a legislative assistant, then professional staff for Roberts on the Ag Committee assisting on trade, food aid, farm and rural credit, livestock and financial services issues. Brady grew up working on her family's wheat and sorghum farm in Deerfield, Kansas. A former high school teacher in Wichita, she holds an undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and a master's degree from George Washington University.

--Meghan Cline, Press Secretary: Cline most recently worked as assistant director of communications for the National Pork Producers Council. She also holds internship experience with the dairy, wine, grains and agriculture education sectors. A native of Dalton, Georgia, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgie and a master's from Oklahoma State, both in agricultural communications.

--James Glueck, Senior Policy Adviser for Biotechnology, Risk Management and Grain Inspection: Glueck most recently worked as deputy staff director and policy director for the Senate Ag Committee. He previously served as a legislative assistant for agriculture, trade and water issues for Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb. Glueck has also worked for Bunge North America and the USDA, including roles as a senior adviser to the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, congressional liaison, deputy White House liaison, deputy director of intergovernmental affairs, and confidential assistant in the Farm Service Agency.

--Darin Guries, Senior Professional Staff for Rural Development, Energy, and Transportation: Guries has worked in Roberts' personal office for years, first as a legislative assistant and then as deputy legislative director. His current portfolio includes issues involving energy, environmental regulations, telecommunications, transportation and judicial nominees. Prior to his time with Roberts, Guries served as general counsel for then-Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan. Guries did his undergrad work at Kansas State and received a law degree from Regent University. He was raised in Salina, Kansas.

--Wayne Stoskopf, Professional Staff for Commodities, Crop Insurance and Dairy: Stoskopf has worked as a legislative assistant for Roberts handling agriculture, nutrition, and water issues since June 2012. He also served as the liaison between Roberts' personal office and the office of the ag panel's ranking member. He previously worked for Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kan., handling agriculture policy and was a field director in central Kansas for Sen. Jerry Moran's 2010 campaign. Stoskopf was born and raised on his family's wheat, sorghum and livestock farm near Hoisington, Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness.

--Katherine Thomas, Executive Assistant: Thomas has been the staff assistant for Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., since August 2013. The William and Mary grad is a lifelong Kansan, growing up in Wichita.

--Andrew Vlasaty, Senior Professional Staff for Conservation, Environment, and Forestry: Vlasaty has served on the Senate Agriculture Committee since 2011 where he managed dairy, conservation, agricultural research, forestry and energy issues during the 2014 Farm Bill negotiations. Prior to joining the panel, Vlasaty worked at the Russell Group, a food and agriculture consulting firm. Vlasaty served in USDA's Office of Congressional Relations during the George W. Bush Administration. Originally from St. Louis, Vlasaty holds a political science degree from Santa Clara University.

“I am proud to add people with experience in farming, ranching and agriculture policymaking to the staff,” Roberts said. “With our first business meeting scheduled for next week, we are ready to get to work.”

Roberts' office said the chairman will announce further committee hires in the coming days. Roberts had previously named Joel Leftwich as staff director and Sarah Little as communications director.

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