The California Cattlemen’s Association has selected Steve Arnold, San Luis Obispo County, as its new president. He succeeds Tony Toso, Mariposa County, whose term expired. Second vice president Trevor Freitas, Tulare County, also stepped off CCA's officer team as his two-year term expired. Rick Roberti, Plumas County, moved up as first vice president and Shelia Bowen, Kern County, has one year remaining in her term as second vice president. Frank Imhof, Contra Costa County, and Mike McCluskey, Tehama County, were elected as the two incoming second vice presidents.
Alejandra Duran has been appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to be the deputy director of legislation and policy at the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Duran previously worked as an associate at Weideman Group, and before that was a legislative assistant at Political Solutions.
The Westlands Water District board of directors has tapped Jeff Fortune to be the new president, succeeding Ryan Ferguson. Fortune is a third-generation California farmer and second-generation Westlands farmer. Ernie B. Costamagna, Justin Diener, Donald Ross Franson III, and Jeremy Hughes were also elected to serve a four-year term on the board.
Jahi Wise has joined the Environmental Protection Agency as the senior adviser to the administrator and acting director for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund program. He previously served as the special assistant to President Joe Biden for climate policy and finance in the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy. Before that, Wise served in a variety of roles in clean energy finance, law and policy.
The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture has brought on Stephanie McBath as the associate director of public policy and Josie Montoney-Crawford as the manager of public policy. McBath previously worked for Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., as his senior legislative assistant. She will lead NASDA’s Natural Resources and Environment Policy Committee and the Rural Development and Financial Security Policy Committee. Montoney-Crawford most recently served as government relations coordinator and CLPAC manager for CropLife America. She will lead NASDA’s Food Systems and Nutrition Policy Committee and the Plant and Pesticides Policy Committee.
Rip Mason has been selected as the new chief executive officer of Ag Resource Management (ARM), a provider of agricultural lending and crop insurance. Mason was most recently selected to serve as the vice chairman of ARM’s board of directors, a position he will maintain. He has previously held leadership roles with LegalShield and Jafra Cosmetics. Mason succeeds John Hoffman, who became CEO of ARM in January of 2020.
Certis Biologicals has named Mike Allan vice president of business development and licensing. He most recently was the vice president of North America. Before joining Certis Biologicals in 2018, Allan was the president of North America for Isagro USA.
Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture, an international ag development organization, has selected Mike Espy as the new chair of the SNFA Board of Directors. Espy served as the secretary of agriculture during the Clinton administration and before that represented Mississippi’s 2nd District in Congress. Espy succeeds Elin Miller, who will continue to serve as a member of the CNFA Board.
Tom Nagle now serves as the chief of staff for Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif. He previously worked for New Mexico Governor Michelle Lynn Lujan Grisham as her special assistant for government affairs.
Sophia Siqueiros is the new field representative for Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif. She previously worked as an intern for Torres, and most recently graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles.
René Muñoz has been brought on as the chief of staff for Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif. Muñoz was the chief of staff for then-Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-NM before going to work for Federal Street Strategies as a strategist.
Jordan Smallwood has been hired on as a staff assistant for the majority staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Smallwood was previously an intern for Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.
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Teddy Lake has rejoined the staff of Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. Lake most recently served as the communications adviser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The International Fresh Produce Association Australia-New Zealand has added Kate Bryant, Dean Gall, Tim Nitschke, and Catherine Velisha to its board of directors. Bryant is the general manager of corporate services at Seeka, Gall is the chief operating officer of Premier Fresh Australia, Nitschke works as the business category manager of fresh produce for Coles and Velisha is director at VEG Education and Velisha Farms. They fill the seats of Jo Minton Connell, Verena Cunningham, Craig Taylor and Marie Piccone.
President Joe Biden has announced the appointments of two Farm Service Agency state executive directors and one Rural Development state director.
William Bunce has been tapped to lead the FSA office for Wyoming. In his career, he has managed multiple large-scale Wyoming ranches, including livestock, sheep, and cattle feedlot operations. Bunce worked at the Wyoming Department of Agriculture as marketing director and was also the staff director for the Wyoming Business Council. He has also held leadership roles with the American Polled Hereford Association, New Mexico Livestock Board, American Quarter Horse Association, the Quarter Horse Journal, and the Quarter Racing Journal.
Ginger Sykes Torres will lead Arizona’s FSA. Before joining USDA, Torres’s career was an environmental planner and civic leader working to create a “more equitable, resilient, and sustainable planet for future generations,” according to USDA. She has served as the vice chair of the City of Phoenix Environmental Quality and Sustainability Commission, advising the mayor of Phoenix and the Phoenix City Council on environmental, sustainability, and climate resilience issues, and was also the chair of the City of Phoenix’s Urban Heat Island Tree and Shade Subcommittee.
Maximiliano Trujillo will lead the USDA Rural Development office in Puerto Rico. Bringing 20 years of service to the post, Trujillo previously worked as a policy and strategic government affairs consultant in D.C., consulting on federal telecommunications, health care, and economic development. He was the senior policy adviser to Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-N.Y., focused on Puerto Rico related issues and before that was the advocacy director for AARP in Puerto Rico.
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