Governor Gavin Newsom has tapped Christy Bouma as the legislative affairs secretary in the Office of the Governor. Bouma served as president of Capitol Connection from 2008 to 2022 and was a legislative advocate from 2000 to 2008. She succeeds Angie Wei, who held the position since December 2020. Wei will continue to serve the Administration as a member of the State Compensation Insurance Fund.
Newsom also made three reappointments to state leadership boards. Daniel Curtin and Matthew Swanson have been reappointed to serve on the California Water Commission. Curtain has served on the board since 2014 and previously has been director of the California Conference of Carpenters since 2001. He has also served as the chief deputy director for the California Department of Industrial Relations. Swanson has served on the CWC since 2019. Swanson is the president and chief executive officer of Associated Feed, a position he has held since 1996. Dorene D’Adamo has been reappointed to the State Water Resources Control Board, where she has served since 2013. She previously served as a senior policy adviser to Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., from 2013 to 2014 and for Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif., from 2003 to 2012. She has also served on the California Air Resources Board from 1999 to 2013.
Kristen Smith Eshaya follows her father’s footsteps and was named the new president of JV Smith Companies. Vic Smith will continue on as CEO and chairman of the board. Smith Eshaya previously was the vice president of organizational development and before that was the communications director and risk management specialist.
Bayer has appointed Michael Parrish to the position of vice president of public affairs, science and sustainability, U.S. Parrish has served as the interim leader of U.S. public affairs since April 2021. Bayer has also promoted Duane Simpson to vice president of the North America crop science public affairs, science and sustainability team. He was previously the vice president of North American government and industry affairs.
Osama El Lissy has been appointed to serve as the secretary of the International Plant Protection Convention. Lissy retired as deputy administrator of USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine program earlier this year and held USDA leadership roles for the past 22 years.
Atashi Mukherjee Bell has joined Honeywell as its new senior director of global government relations. Bell previously worked for two years at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization as the director of scientific and regulatory affairs of agriculture and environment. Before that, she worked for BASF as global regulatory specialist.
Arm & Hammer Animal and Food Production has promoted Joel Pankowski as the new senior technical services manager, dairy, Andy Schwytzer as the new strategic account manager, dairy, and Wayne Hurst joins the team as a dairy account manager for the west team. Pankowski has been with the company since May 2011, supporting the east region dairy sales team. Schwytzer has been with the company since October 2016 in dairy sales. Hurst brings over 30 years of dairy experience to his role, most recently working for Forage Genetics International, a subsidiary of Land O’Lakes.
Matthew Dillon has been hired as the new chief sustainability officer for Farmer Focus. Dillon previously served as vice president of government affairs and social impact at Clif Bar & Company.
American Farmland Trust New York regional director Erica Goodman has been named director of the Farms for a New Generation program. Goodman has served in the roles of AFT New York deputy director and then New York regional director since December 2017. She succeeds Julia Freedgood, who stepped down to write a book on policy and planning tools for resilient food systems.
The IR-4 Project Commodity Liaison Committee has elected Todd Scholz and Keith Pitts as the committee’s new chair and vice chair, respectively. Scholz works for USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council and Pitts works for Marrone Bio Innovations.
Nicole Berg has been elected as the new National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) president. Berg is a 4th generation farmer from Paterson, Washington, where she farms alongside her dad and two brothers. Berg also sits on the board of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. NAWG’s board of directors also elected a new slate of officers. Dave Milligan of Cass City, Michigan, transitioned to the role of past president. Brent Cheyne, a wheat farmer from Klamath Falls, Oregon, became NAWG’s new vice president. Keeff Felty of Altus, Oklahoma, will serve as NAWG’s new treasurer, and Pat Clements of Springfield, Kentucky, was elected as the new secretary.
The National Wheat Foundation has tapped Joe Kejr as its new chair of the board. Kejr farms in Salina, Kansas, with his sons, brother, and nephew. Kejr has previously served as president of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and served as a legislator on the Kansas House of Representatives for three terms. Bernard Peterson was elected as vice chair. He is a managing partner in Peterson Farms. Scott Brown was elected as secretary and treasurer. He farms in southern Idaho with his son-in-law and nephew, where they raise wheat, barley and mustard.
Malcolm McGeary has left the office of Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. He served as the natural resources director from 2019 to 2022. He was previously the energy, natural resources, and agriculture adviser for U.S. Senator from Oregon.
Clark Mica has left The Fertilizer Institute where he was the vice president of government affairs. Mica now serves as the president of the Institute of Makers of Explosives. He was with TFI for the past 12 years and before that worked as the acting deputy assistant secretary for intergovernmental relations at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Dale Moore plans to step down from his role as the top staffer at the American Farm Bureau Federation this year, ending a career spanning more than 40 years. Moore has been AFBF’s executive director since 2018 after first joining the organization in 2011. Before his time at Farm Bureau, Moore worked at the Department of Agriculture during the George W. Bush administration, serving as chief of staff for three different secretaries as well as an interim leader of the department. His career also included a stint at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Washington office, a position he held after more than a decade on Capitol Hill working for Kansas Republican Pat Roberts in both his personal House office and as an Ag Committee staffer.
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