Carol Chandler

Carol Chandler

Western Growers will honor Carol Chandler with the 2021 award of honor, Western Growers’ highest recognition of achievement. A partner of Chandler Farms in Selma, Calif., Chandler grows grapes, peaches, plums, nectarines and almonds. She currently serves as treasurer on Western Growers’ board and serves on the University of California President's Advisory Commission on Agriculture and Natural Resources. She has been chair of the President's Water Task Force for California State University at Fresno and has held positions with the University of California Board of Regents, the California State University Board of Trustees and the Fresno State Board of Governors.

Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed Samuel Assefa, from Seattle, Wash., as the director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. Assefa has served as the director of the Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development since 2016. Before that, he was the senior urban designer for the Department of Community Planning and Sustainability for the City of Boulder.

Ted McKinney Official USDA Headshot

Ted McKinney

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has tapped Ted McKinney to be the organization’s new CEO. McKinney served as undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs at USDA during the Trump Administration. The Indiana native succeeds Barb Glenn, who has served as the NASDA CEO since 2014. McKinney helped negotiate the Phase One trade deal with China. Before his USDA appointment, he was director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. He also spent 19 years at Dow AgroSciences and 14 years at Elanco.

New York Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball is expected to be voted in as the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture President during the organization’s business meeting later today. Ball is currently serving as vice president and succeeds Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles

President Joe Biden has selected civil rights lawyer Margo Schlanger to be USDA’s assistant secretary for civil rights. Schlanger teaches at the University of Michigan as a civil rights lawyer. She attended Yale University Law School and once clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Schlanger was the presidentially appointed civil rights officer for the Department of Homeland Security in 2010 and 2011, and she also has served as a trial attorney and senior trial attorney in the Justice Department's civil rights division. Her nomination has been sent to the Senate.

Roger Cryan

Roger Cryan

Roger Cryan will join the American Farm Bureau Federation on Oct. 4 as the new chief economist. Cryan has served as the director of the economics division for the dairy program at USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service for the past nine years. He previously served as vice president for milk marketing and economics at the National Milk Producers Federation for 12 years.

Jaelith Hall-Rivera has accepted the permanent role of associate deputy chief of USDA Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Branch. She has served as acting in this position since last year. Hall-Rivera began her federal career in 2001 with the Government Accountability Office as an analyst in the Natural Resources and Environment Division in Seattle.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has appointed Kate Barlow to be the new agriculture policy adviser in his administration. Barlow served as lead agriculture policy adviser for the state's Republican senators, Cynthia Lummis and the late Mike Enzi. She most recently served as Lummis’ lead policy adviser on agriculture, food safety, trade, judiciary, labor, social issues and Indian affairs.  Barlow replaces Joe Budd, who departed to attend law school. 

Morgan Beach is leaving the Pet Food Institute, where she serves as director of public affairs, and is heading back home to Missouri to work for Nestlé Purina in St. Louis, where she will be the regulatory and scientific affairs senior specialist. Before joining the Pet Food Institute two years ago, Beach worked for the National Milk Producers Federation as the trade policy manager.

Lisa Safarian

Lisa Nunez Safarian

Lisa Nunez Safarian has been tapped to serve on Pivot Bio’s board of directors. Safarian most recently served as president Bayer Crop Science, North America. Before that, she was vice president of North America for Monsanto.

Dan Glickman and Jim Borel have been asked to sit on GOOD Meat’s board of directors. GOOD Meat is a division of Eat Just. Glickman served as the secretary of agriculture from 1995-2001. Before that, he represented the 4th Congressional District of Kansas for 18 years in the House of Representatives. He currently serves as the executive director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program. Borel is the former executive vice president of DuPont, where he worked for 18 years. Most recently, he has served as an outside director for the Renewable Energy Group and Farmers Edge, and also serves as an independent board chair for Neogen Corporation.

Scott Lay passed away at the age of 48 in his home in Sacramento. He was known as an advocate for community colleges and fought tirelessly to make higher education affordable and accessible for all who wanted it. He previously served 9 years as the president and CEO of the Community College League of California. He most recently was known as the author of The Nooner, a newsletter on California politics and policy, which is published through Around the Capitol. He also wrote The Roundup, an email blast with the latest California news.

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