Jason Resnick has been promoted to senior vice president and general counsel at Western Growers. He joined Western Growers in 2003 as a staff attorney and most recently served as vice president and general counsel. He currently serves as vice president on the board of directors for the Agricultural Personnel Management Association (APMA).

A Democratic steering committee chose Georgia Democrat David Scott over California’s Jim Costa in a 32-19 vote Tuesday evening. The two were both vying for the position vacated by current committee Chair Collin Peterson’s unsuccessful effort to secure another term in Congress.

The steering committee also selected Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D- Conn., who has repeatedly and vocally challenged USDA over farm programs, food safety regulation and other issues, to chair the House Appropriations Committee over two other challengers. The full Democratic conference still has to approve all committee chairs — who will take their respective gavels in January.

Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., has regained the seat he lost in 2018 to Democrat TJ Cox. The dairy farmer previously served from 2013 to 2019 as the San Joaquin Valley congressman, working on the House Appropriations Committee. But in the 2018 race, he lost by 862 votes to Cox. This election was also a close race, taking an extra month of ballot-counting before the Associated Press called the race last week. Cox has not yet conceded the election.

Ajit Pai, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission, said Monday he plans to step down from his post as a commissioner on January 20 after eight years at the agency. Pai was the first Asian-American to chair the FCC after President Donald Trump nominated him to lead the agency in 2017. He was appointed by former President Barack Obama and confirmed unanimously by the Senate in 2012 to serve as a commissioner.

Raji Brar, of Bakersfield, has been reappointed to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. She has served in this position since 2017. Before joining the board, Brar was the chief operations officer and owner of Countryside Corporation.

Raji Brar

Raji Brar

The Waterkeeper Alliance has tapped Gloria Reuben as its new president. Reuben is most known for her role as a physician in the medical drama "ER”. Reuben served as a trustee with Waterkeeper Alliance from 2007 to 2010. She then became an adviser to Vice President Al Gore’s environmental organization, The Climate Reality Project. As president, Reuben will represent more than 350 Waterkeeper groups on six continents and promote the organization’s vision for drinkable, fishable, and swimmable water.

Secretary Sonny Perdue has appointed four new members to serve on the National Mango Board in 2021. The newly appointed members are: Rod Chamberlain, Mecca, Calif., domestic producer; Christopher Ciruli, Tubac, Ariz., importer; Alyssa Salome Hind, McAllen, Texas, importer; and Daniel J. Lyons, Homestead, Fla., domestic producer.

Secretary Perdue also appointed 11 individuals to serve on the Hass Avocado Board. The individuals are: Susan Pinkerton, Ventura, Calif., producer; Ben Van Der Kar, Carpinteria, Calif., producer; CJ Shade, Ojai, Calif., producer; William Carleton, Carpinteria, producer; Jeff Dickinson, Fallbrook, Calif., producer; Kimberlin Brown Pelzer, Fallbrook, Calif., producer; Keith Slattery, San Clemente, Calif., producer alternate (1-year term); Jorge Hernandez, McAllen, Texas, importer; Sergio Chavez, Lake Elsinore, Calif., importer; Andrew Bruno, Newbury Park, Calif., importer alternate; and Peter Shore, Ojai, importer alternate.

Lori Ajax, Bureau of Cannabis Control Chief, announced she will retire from her post after 27 years of state service. 21 of those years were served at the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. She was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as chief of what would become the Bureau of Cannabis Control in February of 2016. Her last day on the job is today.

President-elect Joe Biden has announced he will appoint Janet Yellen to the position of treasury secretary. He has also picked Neera Tanden to run the Office of Management and Budget. Tanden currently serves as president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has named Sharon Parrott its new president, succeeding Robert Greenstein, who founded the liberal research and advocacy group 40 years ago. Parrott, currently CBPP’s senior VP for federal policy and program development, was an associate director at OMB in 2016-17 and counselor to the office for human services policy at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2009-12. As a Congressional Research Service (CRS) expert, Greenstein helped the Senate Agriculture Committee make several improvements to the food stamp program in the 1973 farm bill. He became administrator of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service in 1977 and later a special assistant to the secretary. He founded CBPP in 1981 with a staff of four and led its growth to 150 today. 

Sharon Parrott

Sharon Parrott

Pietro Antonio Tataranni has been asked to be the new global chief medical officer at PepsiCo, Inc. Tataranni joined PepsiCo in September 2018 as the deputy chief scientific officer and senior vice president of life sciences. He led the company’s nutrition sciences, sports science and external innovation strategies. Before joining PepsiCo, Tataranni worked at Sanofi.

Annick Miller Rivera now serves as the Republican staff director under Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Calif., for the Subcommittee of water, ocean, and wildlife under the House Natural Resources Committee. She was previously a professional staff member for Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, on the House Natural Resources Committee.

Laura Forero is now a legislative assistant for Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., covering the portfolio for energy, environmental protection, and immigration. She previously worked at the League of Conservation Voters as a legislative representative.

Johanna Montiel has been tapped to be the new legislative director for Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., She was previously a senior policy adviser. She covers the portfolio for energy, environmental protection, labor, public lands, natural resources, and transportation... Nancy Juárez has left the office where she served as deputy chief of staff.

Jennifer Goedke now serves as chief of staff for Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif. She previously worked in the office of Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., as deputy chief of staff.

Brennan Summers has been promoted to a legislative assistant for Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho. He covers the portfolio for agriculture and food, environmental protection, public lands and natural resources. He previously worked as a field representative and social media director.

Emily Kolano has moved to the office of Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., to serve as the new legislative director. She handles the portfolio for ag, appropriations, commerce, energy, environment, natural resources, trade, and transportation. Kolano came from Rep. Danny Heck’s, D-Wash., office where she was a senior legislative assistant. She replaces Justine Meuse who left Crow’s office.

Guido Goldman

Guido Goldman

Arielle Devorah has moved up to communications director for Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz. She previously served as deputy communications director.

Sally Tucker now serves as the communications director for Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo. She previously worked on Joe Biden’s campaign as the Colorado press secretary.

Guido Goldman, founder of the German Marshall Fund of the US, has died. He was 83. Goldman served on the GFU board of directors as chair and retired in 2012. Goldman was director of the program for the Study of Germany and Europe at Harvard University’s Center for European Studies (CES). He served as the founding director of CES for twenty-five years. Born in Germany in 1937, his family fled to the United States in 1940. He attended Harvard University and was passionate about governmental affairs. A visionary Europeanist, he started the German Marshall Fund to help improve trans-Atlantic understandings.

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