Former California Department of Food and Agriculture secretary Bill Lyons is out, effective immediately, as agricultural liaison to Gov. Gavin Newsom. Lyons worked on water issues in the Central Valley during the year he spent in the position, and also represented the governor in negotiations over voluntary agreements and was involved with SGMA implementation, the San Joaquin Valley Blueprint and SB 1, the environmental resistance bill Newsom had vetoed.

Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed Victoria Hassid of San Francisco to be the chair of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Hassid has served as chief deputy director at the California Department of Industrial Relations since 2018. Cinthia Flores, of Los Angeles, has also been tapped to serve on the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Flores has been a staff attorney at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights since 2017. Isadore Hall III, of Los Angeles, has been reappointed to the Board, where he has served since 2017.

Bill Lyons

Bill Lyons

Jeff Stump has left the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) where he served as the director of conservation.

Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. added Doug Rauch to its board of directors, effective Feb. 25. Rauch spent 31 years with Trader Joe’s Co., including 14 years as a president.

Nature Fresh Farms has elevated Matt Quiring to director of sales. Quiring, is a son of Nature Fresh Farms president and founder Peter Quiring. He joined Nature Fresh Farms in 2010. 

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has appointed Paul Kiecker to serve as administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Kiecker fills the position following the departure of Administrator Carmen Rottenberg, who became administrator in May 2018. Kiecker was named deputy administrator for the FSIS in May 2018 and served as the agency’s acting administrator until January 2019. He first joined FSIS in 1988 as a food inspector.

Katharine MacGregor has been confirmed by the Senate as deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior. She was currently serving as DOI’s deputy chief of staff, exercising the authority of the deputy secretary. Before her work at DOI, MacGregor served under Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, as senior professional staff on the House Committee on Natural Resources' Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals.

The Executive Committee of Waterways Council Inc. (WCI) has named Deb Calhoun as its interim president/CEO. Calhoun previously served as the senior vice president of WCI. Calhoun has been with WCI since its founding in 2003 and steps into the interim role after Michael Toohey announced his retirement last week.

Michael Stebbins is settling into his new position at CropLife International, working on the communications and social media team. He previously worked for the Council for Biotechnology Information.

Lane Coberly is now a legislative assistant for the Senate Ag Committee covering forestry and rural development issues. He most recently worked as the committee’s staff assistant/legislative correspondent following his graduation from Kansas State University. Josh Millard has been hired to fill the role of staff assistant for the committee. Most recently, Millard served as a Cass County board member and an insurance agent in Illinois. He holds internship experiences with Reps. Darin LaHood, R-Ill., and Mike Bost, R-Ill.

Sen. Mike Crapo’s, R-Idaho, legislative director, Scott Riplinger, has left Capitol Hill and now is a partner with the CGCN Group LLC. Before Crapo’s office, Riplinger worked for Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

Nick Martin has joined the staff of Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., as her new communications director. He previously worked as a director for Forbes Tate Partners.

Dave Chun is the new legislative director for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii. Chun covers the portfolio for agriculture, energy, environmental protection, labor, and natural resources.

Stephen Bradford now serves as Sen. John Barrasso’s, R-Wyo., communication director on the Senate Republican Conference. He previously worked for the Department of Transportation as the deputy director of public affairs.

Mark McKean

Mark McKean

Mark McKean of Riverdale, Calif., was elected as chairman of the American Cotton Producers (ACP) through the National Cotton Council (NCC) for 2020. He was formerly an ACP vice chairman and currently serves as an NCC director. Elected as an ACP vice chairmen were: Mark NicholsRusty Darby and Nathan Reed.

Les Baledge has been tapped to serve on the board of directors for Tyson Foods. Baledge previously served as the executive vice president and general counsel of Tyson Foods from 1999 to 2004.

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