Judith McMeekin has announced plans to retire from the Food and Drug Administration on June 30. McMeekin, the associate commissioner for regulatory affairs, is the third top FDA official to leave this year. Former deputy commissioner for food policy and response Frank Yiannas left in January and Director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Susan Mayne announced she will leave at the end of May. Carol Cave, deputy associate commissioner, will serve in the acting capacity when McMeekin retires. McMeekin has worked at the FDA for 15 years and began her tenure in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Office of Compliance.

michael-bliss-comp.jpgMichael Bliss, CCM Frank Yiannas has been selected to sit on Chipotle’s Food Safety Advisory Council. Yiannas served under two administrations as the deputy commissioner for food policy and response at the FDA, a position he held from 2018 to 2023. Before that, he spent 30 years in leadership roles with Walmart and the Walt Disney Company. 

California Citrus Mutual has brought on Michael Bliss as grower services manager. He previously worked as a property and casualty insurance agent for Fluetsch & Busby Insurance in Merced, California.

Jasmine Scott is settling into her role as Syngenta's government and sustainability affairs lead. She previously held positions with CoBank and the Government Accountability Office. 

Kate Huskin has been promoted to vice president of communications and public relations at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. She previously was the senior communications director. 

Carena Miles has joined the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition as an operations manager. She most recently was a volunteer and education coordinator at Shalom Farms. Before that, she was a healthy food access coordinator for the City of Jersey City in New Jersey.

Lenya Quinn-Davidson has been named director of the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Fire Network. The Fire Network aims to build connections and capacity among UC ANR scientists, practitioners, land management and regulatory agencies, policymakers and communities to work toward fire resilience in California.

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Megan Wheeler joined Vive Crop Protection as Chief of Staff. A member of the executive team, she will partner closely with CEO Dr. Darren Anderson on key initiatives such as M&A, fundraising, and effective scaling. She has over 17 years of marketing and operational experience in tech across multiple disciplines, including real estate, pharmaceutical, custom software development, finance, and digital accessibility.

U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action (USFRA) announced the organization and CEO Erin Fitzgerald have agreed to an amicable parting of ways to pursue new opportunities. “The USFRA Board of Directors appreciates the contributions Erin made to USFRA during her nearly 5-year tenure as CEO,” said USFRA Board Chair Marilyn Hershey, Dairy Management Inc. chair. As the Board undertakes the process to identify the next CEO, a group of USFRA staff members will lead day-to-day operations of the organization in concert with the Executive Committee.

Farm Journal announced that Prescott Shibles has joined the company as CEO. He takes over from Andy Weber who retires after 23 years as CEO and becomes vice chairman of Farm Journal’s board of directors.  Prior to coming to Farm Journal, Prescott was executive vice president of Randall Reilly’s Asset Intelligence Division, including its agriculture products, and he previously served as chief marketing officer of Advantage Media, CEO of Vital Business Media and vice president of New Media at PRISM/Penton (Informa). He began his career in the early days of the Internet at About.com (Dotdash Meredith).

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