By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, March 9 – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Chairwoman, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today released the below statement, following the announcement of staff selections for the Committee.

“We have assembled a talented team with a breadth of experience that captures American agriculture’s diversity,” Stabenow said. “As I’ve said before, this team understands the needs and concerns of our nation’s farmers, growers and agricultural producers, and is committed to continuing to work with them to make sure their concerns are at the forefront as we move forward with writing the next Farm Bill.” 
Chairwoman Stabenow recently announced the appointments of Chris Adamo as the Committee’s Staff Director and Jonathan Coppess as the Committee’s Chief Counsel. The new staff announcements include:

Colleen Briggs, Economic Policy Advisor

Colleen is responsible for developing and implementing Senator Stabenow’s legislative agenda on tax, banking, pensions, small business, and housing. She led the Senate’s efforts on Cash for Clunkers and managed the Senator’s finance priorities in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and Small Business Jobs Act.   Prior to working for Senator Stabenow, she served as an advisor to Representative Lloyd Doggett on issues related to banking, judiciary, and energy.  

Cory Claussen, Professional Staff

Cory has worked on the Senate Agriculture Committee under both Chairman Harkin and Chairman Lincoln.  He focuses on CFTC-related issues, U.S. dairy policy, and bio-based products.  He is from rural Iowa and has a BA from Drake University and an MPP from Harvard’s JFK School of Government. 

Bill Imbergamo, Senior Professional Staff

Bill Imbergamo started with the Senate Agriculture Committee in January, 2010. His 19-year career in forest policy began in 1991 with the National Association of State Foresters, and he has worked in a variety of public and private sector positions focusing on forest management. He is a 14-year member of the Society of American Foresters, a Bronze Sponsor and Federal City Committee Member, Ducks Unlimited, and was appointed to Virginia Board of Forestry in 2010.

Bart Kempf, Senior Counsel 

Since October 2009, Bart Kempf has handled environmental and energy issues as Majority Senior Counsel on the staff of the Senate Agriculture Committee.  Before joining the Committee staff, Bart practiced environmental law in the Washington, DC office of Beveridge & Diamond.  He received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, a graduate degree from the University of Virginia, and his undergraduate degree from Sewanee:  the University of the South. 

Catie Lee, Legislative Aide

After graduating from Williams College in 2009, Catie came to the Committee as a Staff Assistant and now serves as a Legislative Aide. Her work focuses on constituent services and assisting staff on a wide range of Committee policy issues. Catie is originally from New Jersey.

Tina May, Senior Professional Staff

Tina May served most recently as the Legislative Director for the Office of Congressional Relations at the U. S. Department of Agriculture.  Prior to her time with USDA, May worked on the Senate Agriculture Committee under Chairman Harkin, focusing on conservation and energy issues in addition to the 2008 Farm Bill. May has previously worked for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the Scoular Company. May hails from a small family farm in Stacyville, Iowa and earned her B.A. from the University of Minnesota and her M.S. from the City University of London. 

Brandon McBride, Senior Professional Staff

Brandon McBride has worked on rural development issues for the Senate Agriculture Committee since November 2009.  Prior to joining the Agriculture Committee staff, McBride handled appropriations and economic development issues for U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln.  McBride earned his undergraduate degree and Master’s in Public Administration from Arkansas State University.

Jacqlyn Schneider, Senior Professional Staff

Since 2006, Jacqlyn Schneider has served as Legislative Director for Congressman Jim Costa of California where she managed his work on the House Agriculture Committee and 2008 Farm bill. Schneider also led the Congressman’s efforts on a host of issues including healthcare/health reform, food safety, education, immigration and trade. Prior to joining Rep. Costa’s staff, she worked for the Biotechnology Industry Organization in Federal Government Relations. Schneider is a native Michigander and a graduate of James Madison University.

Karla Thieman, Professional Staff

Karla joined the Senate Agriculture Committee two years ago, serving under both previous chairs – Senators Harkin and Lincoln. She grew up on a third-generation family farm in Missouri where her family raised Shorthorn cattle as well as corn, soybeans and wheat. Karla received her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri. Karla will be working on livestock, food safety, research, and energy issues.

Todd Wooten, Senior Counsel

Todd Wooten most recently served as Director of Southeast Climate Resource Center at Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. As its inaugural director, Wooten worked to bring Duke’s resources to policymakers throughout the region with a specific focus on local governments. In addition, Wooten served as the Nicholas Institute’s Communications Director. Before his time at Duke, Wooten served as senior director for governmental issues at Van Ness Feldman, an energy policy law firm based in Washington, D.C., and prior to that, as legislative counsel to Senator Blanche Lincoln.

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