Dan Pope announced his retirement from the Westlands Water District where he served as the special projects manager. Pope joined the District in March 2014 as its COO. Before that, Pope served as the general manager of the Tri-Dam Project and Tri-Dam Power Authority, general manager of Merced Irrigation District, and worked for 26 years in various positions at Pacific Gas & Electric, beginning as a field engineer at the Helms Pumped Storage Project. 

Walmart has tapped a Land O’ Lakes executive to serve as its new vice president for global food safety compliance. Sara Mortimore began her duties on Monday and fills the shoes of Frank Yiannas, who left to serve as deputy commissioner for food policy and response at the FDA in December 2018. At Land O’Lakes, Mortimore was vice president of product safety, quality and regulatory affairs. Mortimore studied food science and technology at Seale-Hayne Agriculture College and earned her master’s from Leicester University, both in the UK.

The Senate Agriculture Committee advanced three USDA nominations who were originally named in 2018 but never confirmed by the Senate before the last Congress adjourned. The committee approved Naomi Earp for assistant secretary for civil rights, Scott Hutchins for USDA’s undersecretary for research, education and economics and the department’s chief scientist, and Mindy Brashears, who was named to be undersecretary for food safety. To read more on the advancement, click here.

Last week the U.S. Senate confirmed the appointment of Kimberly ReedJudith Delzoppo Pryor, and Spencer Bachus to serve on the board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

CropLife America (CLA) hired Manojit Basu to serve as its managing director of science policy beginning May 28. Before CLA, Basu served as the vice president of regulatory affairs at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). In this new role, Basu will lead research and advocate to promote the solutions CLA members created, as well as implement and manage science and regulatory policy strategies.

Jay Vroom

Jay Vroom

Jay Vroom has been named chair of Farm Journal’s Trust In Food advisory board. His main responsibilities will be to help Farm Journal launch the largest public-private conservation partnership in the history of American agriculture. Vroom retired in 2018 after 29 years as president and CEO of CropLife America. He serves as chairman of the National FFA Foundation’s Individual Giving Council and sits on the boards of the Soil Health Institute and National Wheat Foundation.

The California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA) selected Ian Lemay to serve as its new president, effective June 1. He succeeds George Radanovich, who has served in the position since 2016 and will be leaving CFFA to promote Ag labor policy in Washington, D.C. Lemay has served as CFFA’s director of member relations and communications since 2015. Before that, he was the district director for Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif.

Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., promoted Jack Lincoln to legislative director from legislative assistant. He will cover the portfolio for agriculture and food, energy, environmental protection, and natural resources. He succeeds Colleen McGowan, who left the office.

Matt Weisman is now with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as a counsel for Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. He previously served on the staff of Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., as his legislative director.

Keane Bhatt is the new communications director for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Bhatt comes to the office from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, where he served as a fellow for Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz.

Marty Boughton is the new communications director for Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho. She was serving as his communications aide and previously worked for the House Education and Labor Committee as its press secretary.

Rebekah Rodriguez joins the staff of Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, as his new legislative aide and correspondent. Rodriguez previously worked in the Office of the Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the USDA as a staff assistant. Before that, she worked on the subcommittee for national parks, forests, and public lands for the House Natural Resources Committee as a clerk under Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif.

Yianni Varonis is now serving as the communications director for Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. Before coming to Lofgren’s office, Varonis served in the office of Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, as his press secretary.

Elaina Houser has left the office of Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., where she served as his legislative director. She moved west to become the legislative director of the City of Los Angeles.

Andrei Mikhalevsky

Andrei Mikhalevsky

Joe Barry has left the office of Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, to begin a new role with Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., as his legislative assistant.

California Dairies Inc. President and CEO Andrei Mikhalevsky announced he plans to retire at the end of the year. CDI’s board of directors have begun the search for the new successor and both the board and Mikhalevsky stated they are committed to ensuring a smooth transition to a new president and CEO.

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