The Almond Board of California has hired Rick Kushman as the new manager of media relations. Before joining the Almond Board, Kushman worked as a columnist and reporter at The Sacramento Bee. He also worked as a communications strategist for E. & J. Gallo Winery and was a public affairs senior writer and executive communications expert at UC Davis Health.

Valerie Shepler

Valerie Shepler

Valerie Shepler has joined the staff of Fall Creek Farm and Nursery as a commercial manager for the U.S. and Canada territories, based at the company’s Lowell, Ore., office. She brings more than 30 years of management experience in the agricultural industry and most recently was vice president of strategic sourcing and analysis for Milne Fruit Products, Inc. in Prosser, Wash.

Nichino America has elevated Amanda Carson to the position of East Region Sales Manager. Carson joined Nichino America in 2016 as a technical sales representative for the northeast territory. She was later promoted to product manager in early 2018.

James Glueck has been brought on to the policy team at Michael Torrey Associates as the new vice president. Glueck joins MTA after serving as the staff director for the Senate Agriculture Committee under then-Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan. He also worked in the personal office of Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., covering the portfolio for risk management, biotechnology, grain handling, nutrition, trade, foreign relations, and water issues.

Andrew Brandt has joined the U.S. Grains Council as the director of trade policy. He will be based out of the council’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Brandt most recently worked for the Senate Committee on Finance as an international trade policy adviser. In this role, he counseled the committee on international trade policy related to agriculture, biotech, energy and other matters. He also previously served as a legislative assistant to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, covering the portfolio for agriculture, biotech, international trade, banking and environmental policy. Brandt succeeds Floyd Gaibler, who passed away in January.

James Glueck

James Glueck

Former EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has joined The Heritage Foundation as a visiting fellow. In this role, Wheeler will advise the Heritage team on the economic and environmental impact of energy, climate change, and environmental regulations.

Andrew Brandt

Andrew Brandt

Angela Ellard, Republican chief trade counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee, has been selected as one of the new World Trade Organization’s (WTO) deputy directors-general. Ellard has worked on the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee since 1995 and has worked on 13 trade agreements.

Samantha Power was sworn in as the new head of the U.S. Agency for International Development on Monday, after being confirmed by the Senate in a 68-26 vote. Power served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama Administration.

The Department of the Interior has announced new members to the agency’s leadership.

Lawrence Roberts has been tapped as the Interior’s chief of staff. Roberts is a citizen of the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin and a professor at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, served as acting assistant secretary of Indian Affairs and principal deputy assistant secretary of Indian Affairs during the Obama administration. Steve Feldgus returns to Interior as the deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management after serving for seven years on the House Natural Resources Committee, most recently as deputy staff director under Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz. He also served as staff director for the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. During the Obama administration, Feldgus served at the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Bureau of Land Management. Sarah Krakoff has been brought on as the deputy solicitor for parks and wildlife. She most recently was a law professor at the University of Colorado Law School and is a nationally recognized expert in Native American law, natural resources law, and environmental justice. Krakoff is the founder and director of the Acequia Assistance Project. 

Elsewhere at the department, Mackenzie Landa now serves as the adviser to the deputy secretary. She most recently served as counsel to Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., working on environment, energy, natural resource, and agriculture issues. Before joining Booker’s staff, Landa served as counsel to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Heidi Todacheene now serves as a senior adviser in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. She is a citizen of the Navajo Nation who served as legislative counsel for Interior Secretary Deb Haaland during her time in the House. Todacheene was also Democratic director of the Congressional Native American Caucus in Congress. Eric Werwa has been hired as the deputy assistant secretary for policy, management, and budget. Werwa brings more than 18 years of experience working on environmental and climate issues on Capitol Hill, most recently serving as Haaland's House chief of staff and legislative director.

Heidi Todacheene

Heidi Todacheene

Chris Rowland has been hired by Crop One, a technology-driven indoor vertical farming company, as the company’s new chief financial officer. Rowland is a licensed certified public accountant and has spent his career managing and advising global and domestic companies through mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and turnarounds. Most recently, Rowland was the CFO for TCG GreenChem, a startup pharmaceutical company.

Miracle King Wilson has joined BASF Agricultural Solutions as the company’s new public relations manager. She most recently worked at the North Carolina Department of Transportation where she was the department's communications specialist. She is also a former television anchor, reporter and executive producer.

Krysta Harden and Alison Lawton have joined AgBiome's board of directors, effective immediately. Harden currently serves as the president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council and Lawton was most recently CEO of the microbiome company Kaleido Biosciences.

Ron Phillips has joined Sysco as the company’s new executive vice president and chief human resources officer. Phillips most recently worked at CVS Health as the senior vice president of human resources, retail, Omnicare and enterprise modernization.

Eric Fejer now serves as a press assistant on the minority staff of the Senate Finance Committee. He previously served as an intern for Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.

Taylor DuBard has joined the staff of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., as a staff assistant. DuBard previously interned for Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

Andrew Dewsnup, president of Greenfield Fresh, passed away at the age of 60. He was recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer and was anticipating a 100% recovery. In 1998, Dewsnup began his career in the produce industry. In 2002, Dewsnup founded Greenfield Fresh, a produce brokerage located in the Bay area.

Marie Gallo, a Modesto philanthropist and daughter-in-law of a co-founder of E.& J. Gallo Winery, died in her sleep at her home Monday. She was 86. Gallo was well known for supporting the Catholic Church and other local causes and was the driving force behind the Gallo Center for the Arts. She and husband Bob Gallo, the son of Julio Gallo, raised eight children as the Modesto-based operation grew into the world’s largest family-owned winery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto, 95354, or the Sisters of the Cross, 1320 Maze Blvd., Modesto, 95351. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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