President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Brandon Lipps as the Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services at the Department of Agriculture. Previously, Lipps served as counsel and senior professional staff to the House Committee on Agriculture. He has served as chief of staff for the Office of the Chancellor at the Texas Tech University System and was an associate at the Lubbock law firm of Crenshaw, Dupree, & Milam.

Krista Beckstead has joined Starr Ranch Growers as a marketing and brand specialist. Beckstead previously led the marketing efforts at Crunch Pak located in Wenatchee, WA. Beckstead served on the marketing and merchandising executive committee and the new opportunities committee for United Fresh.

The Department of Agriculture has appointed new individuals to serve on the National Organic Standards Board. The new appointees are as follows: Nathan Powell-Palm, operator of Cold Spring Organics, a Belgrade, Mont., grains, row crops and cattle operation;Kimberly Huseman, director of specialty ingredients for Greeley, Colo.-based Pilgrim’s;Mindee Jeffery, grocery manager of Eastside Food Co-op, Minneapolis; Wood Turner, senior vice president of sustainability for Agriculture Capital, San Francisco; and Jerry D’Amore, currently works with Munger Farms through his consulting business located in Watsonville, Calif. He has been director of sourcing and new business development for SunnyRidge Farm, which was later acquired by Dole Food Co., and served as vice president of agricultural development for Clear Springs LLC.

Five time Olympian and three time gold medalist, Kerri Walsh Jennings, has been selected as the new spokesperson for California Almonds. Walsh Jennings will be heading to Tokyo for her 6th Olympics and 4th gold in Summer 2020.

British Columbia-based Jealous Fruits has hired Doug Sankey for a sales role. Sankey has been in the industry for over 35 years. He has served in sales and marketing roles at Sunwest Fruit Co., Parlier, Calif., and Morada Produce Co., Linden, Calif. He will continue his sales role with Morada Produce and will move to Kelowna, British Columbia, each season to manage U.S. sales for Jealous Fruits.

Kip Tom was sworn in to serve as the agriculture representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.

Kip Tom

Kip Tom

Ian Borden has been elevated to president of international at the McDonald’s Corp. Borden previously served as president of international developmental licensed markets at McDonald’s Corp. Borden has held a variety of roles with McDonald’s over the past 25 years, including president of foundational markets, chief financial officer of the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa segment and managing director.

The Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac) has selected Aparna Ramesh to serve as its new executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, effective Jan. 6. Ramesh joins Farmer Mac with more than two decades of financial experience, most recently with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston serving as the senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Calyxt, a plant-based technology company, has appointed Vince Restucci in a newly created role as vice president of agronomy services. Restucci brings more than 35 years of agribusiness, refining and CPG experience to Calyxt. He most recently worked with R.D. Offutt Company, as director of procurement and business technology.

Mary Emma Young has been promoted to senior director of communications for the Pet Food Institute. Young previously served as the director of communications at the Pet Food Institute and, before that, at CropLife America. In addition, Atalie Ebersole has joined the Pet Food Institute as an executive assistant. Atalie served as an executive assistant to Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., and more recently served as a PAC manager for Grant Thornton, LLP and advocacy director for Rescue:Freedom International.

Jennifer Roland has joined the staff at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) as the new coordinator of food safety programs. She will help manage multiple cooperative agreements with the Food and Drug Administration to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Roland most recently served as the executive assistant and event planner for the Association of American Feed Control Officials, a NASDA affiliate.

Liz Stower has joined the staff at OFW Law where she will work as the senior policy adviser. Stower worked on Capitol Hill as Rep. Ron Kind’s, D-Wis., legislative director and worked in Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s, D-Wis., office … Molly O’Connor has been promoted to senior policy adviser at OFW Law.

Molly O'Connor

Molly O'Connor

Ashley Willits has been promoted to deputy director of external and intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Agriculture. Willits previously served as an advance lead for Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

Blake Narendra has been moved to a legislative assistant in Sen. Jeff Merkley’s, D-Ore., office. He covers the international affairs portfolio. Ansley Lacitis now serves as the communications director for Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. She previously served as the deputy chief of staff. She replaces Reid Walker.

Brendan Parets has left the office of Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., where he served as chief counsel. He now works for Covington & Burling LLP as a special counsel.

Lee Lonsberry has left the Beltway where he served as the senior communications adviser to Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, on the House Natural Resources Committee. He now works as the talk show host for KSL-AM in Salt Lake City.

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