Asm. Robert Rivas is now officially the new speaker and leader of the Assembly Democratic Caucus. He designated Asm. Cecilia Aguiar-Curry of Winters as the speaker pro tempore to preside over floor sessions.  Asm. Isaac Bryan of Los Angeles will manage floor proceedings as the majority leader. Asm. Esmeralda Soria of Merced will serve as agriculture chair, after Rivas vacated the post.

Matt Mika has moved to AmericanHort as its new vice president of advocacy and government affairs. Mika most recently worked at Atlas Crossing as the vice president of government affairs and was previously a lobbyist for Tyson Foods.

Matt Mika.jpegMatt Mika, AmericanHortDavid Ross has been promoted to vice president of sales and marketing at Edible Garden. He previously was the director of sales and marketing. Before joining Edible Gardens, Ross was senior category manager at Wakefern-Shoprite. 

Cami Ryan has been hired as a senior business partner of industry affairs and sustainability for Bayer CropScience Canada. Ryan previously was a Bayer science fellow. 

Brendan Foley has been elevated to CEO of McCormick & Co., effective Sept. 1. Foley previously served as the president and chief operating officer. Foley, who will continue to serve as president, joined McCormick in 2014 as president of the U.S. Consumer Products Division He succeeds Lawrence Kurzius, who will continue to serve as executive chairman of the board.

Dan Basse has been selected to serve as the chair of the Farm Foundation's board of directors. Basse is the president of AgResources Company. He succeeds Jerome Lyman, a retired executive of the McDonald’s Corp. Cheri De Jong, principal owner of Natural Prairie Dairy and owner and CFO of AgriVision Farm Management, was elected vice chair, and Andrew LaVigne, president and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association, was elected treasurer.

The Farm Foundation board has also added six new members, including former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns; former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jewel Bronaugh; Michael Doane, global managing director of food and freshwater systems at The Nature Conservancy; Jimmy Kinder, co-owner and operator of Kinder Farms; Cristina Rohr, managing director of food and agriculture at S2G Ventures, and Todd Van Hoose, president and CEO of the Farm Credit Council. 

Carla Soto.jpgCarla Soto, NASDA Foundation Carla Soto is the new coordinator for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Foundation. She will be leading programs including NASDA Next Generation, Ag Policy Summit, and Farm2Food Accelerator. She previously interned with AllergyGuard.

Sam Aleman has started as Rep. Jimmy Gomez’s, D-Calif., digital director. He previously worked at 270 Strategies as a senior associate and before that, was the digital organizer for the Democratic National Committee.

Josue Peralta has joined Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s, D-Wis., office as a staff assistant. Peralta previously was Baldwin’s constituent services intern and before that interned with Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Calif.

Chad Vorthmann has left the Colorado Farm Bureau Federation, where he served as the executive vice president, to assume a new role in government relations with Lockheed Martin. He had been with the Colorado Farm Bureau since 2003, first joining as the director of communications.

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