Jovan Djordjevic has joined the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center as the new education director. Djordjevic brings 20 years of experience previously working for companies such as Monsanto, Bayer, and BASF. He most recently led Cucurbits breeding and research teams as well as developed crop strategies as BASF’s Global R&D Team Lead.
Ocean Mist Farms has hired Jesse Lopez as commodity account manager. Lopez previously was a senior account manager and director of business development with Tanimura & Antle for the last 15 years.
Highland Ag Solutions has brought on Aimee Smith as sales manager, based in Ventura, Calif. She most recently worked at Mission Produce as a grower relations manager.
Katie Farmer will become BNSF Railway’s new president and CEO, effective in January. Farmer has been with the company for 28 years and previously served as the executive vice president of operations. Current CEO Carl Ice will be retiring at the end of the year and will remain on the board of directors.
The National Biodiesel Board has tapped Floyd Vergara to be the new director of state regulatory affairs. He succeeds Shelby Neal, who held the position for the past 12 years. Neal will be departing NBB Oct. 16 and will head to Darling Ingredients to serve as the company’s vice president for renewables and energy policy. Vergara will assume Neal’s leadership position following his departure. Vergara most recently served as the chief of the industrial strategies division and assistant chief of the research division for the California Air Resources Board. He was with CARB for 32 years before joining NBB. In November 2019, Vergara opened NBB's West Coast office.
Frank W. Naylor Jr. passed away on Oct. 6. He was 81. Naylor started his career by joining the U.S. Navy in Vietnam and went on to hold many public office leadership positions in the agriculture community including: chairman of the Farm Credit Administration, undersecretary of agriculture, acting secretary of agriculture, administrator of the Farmers Home Administration, and deputy administrator of the Federal Crop Insurance Corp. In the private industry, Naylor helped with agriculture development on a global scale with The Peoples Group. According to his obituary, Naylor had a passion for traveling, valued community service, and was an avid gardener.
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