Sara Neagu-Reed .jpegSara Neagu-Reed, IFPAXochitl Torres Small has been confirmed as USDA’s new deputy agriculture secretary. Torres Small is a former congresswoman and the granddaughter of farmworkers who has been serving as USDA's rural development undersecretary since 2021. Her nomination was approved on the Senate floor, 84-8. She succeeds Jewel Bronaugh, who stepped down as deputy secretary earlier this year. 

Jill Bramble has been tapped as the new president and CEO of the National 4-H Council, effective Aug. 18. She currently serves as the executive vice president and chief growth officer of the National 4-H Council.

The International Fresh Produce Association has hired Sara Neagu-Reed as director of production and environmental policy. Neagu-Reed most recently worked at AmericanHort, where she was the director of advocacy and government affairs. Her career also includes stops with the California Farm Bureau and USDA.

Art Munoz has returned to Church Brothers Farms as vice president of raw product procurement for the U.S. and Mexico. Bringing over 20 years of experience to the role, Munoz previously worked at Taylor Farms as the director of Ag Ops. Before that, he spent 12 years with Church Brothers.

Marie-Jose David has been named the new chief financial officer of Oatly Group, effective Oct. 1. She succeeds Christian Hanke, who had held the role since 2020. David previously held leadership positions in finance at Mars Veterinary Health International, Americas for Pandora, and L’Oreal USA.

Adrian Paco is the new president of The Salad Farm, based in Salinas. Bringing 25 years of experience to the role, Paco previously held roles with Earthbound Farm, Taylor Farms and Fresh Express.

Lindsey Lance has been elevated to director of marketing at Bay Baby Produce. She joined Bay Baby in 2022 as a member of the sales team.

Sarah Burns has been brought on to Stemilt as the new west coast merchandising manager. She previously worked at FreshSource and before that with Earthbound Farm.

Peter Lamb has been chosen as vice president and head of sales for TOMRA Fresh Foods. He most recently served as the CEO of Packaging Products Co.

Marcial Hernandez Manzano has been promoted to vice president of supply and operations of Pacific Trellis Fruit. He previously was the director of South America imports.

The Center for Land-Based Learning has added Sydney Smith-Ransom to its team as the new SLEWS program coordinator. Smith-Ransom most recently taught soil chemistry and advanced floral design at Cordova High School. She has earned her Master's in Education at UC Davis and a Bachelor's degree in International Agriculture and Rural Development with a minor in Education from Cornell University. After college she joined the Peace Corps as an education volunteer in Rwanda. 

Andrew Lauver has joined Farm Journal as the director of business development and the Trust in Food division. Lauver previously was the director of strategic alliances and programs at Leading Harvest. Before that, he was with Syngenta. 

Renae Larson has taken a new job with General Mills as the senior planner of brand experience, performance meals and baking solutions. She previously held roles with Precision Reach and Puris. 

Ivy Torres has joined the American Feed Industry Association team as the new global programs specialist. Torres most recently served as a manager of global programs at the U.S. Grains Council.

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The Montana Farm Bureau has brought on Karli Johnson as the new state governmental affairs and northwest regional manager. Johnson previously worked as a sales representative with Dow AgroSciences.

Maury Riggan will serve as general counsel for the Biden-Harris 2024 reelection campaign. Riggan previously served at the White House National Security Council as special assistant to the president and senior director for the executive secretariat and deputy legal adviser.

Five Republican House members have been appointed to sit on the Canada-United States Interparliamentary Group: GOP Reps. Pete Stauber and Brad Finstad of Minnesota, Jack Bergman of Michigan and Nick Langworthy and Claudia Tenney of New York. The mission of the group is to exchange ideas and information on national interests, including trade, national security, and resource development.

Robert Farnam.jpgRobert Farnam, Colorado Cattlemen's Association

Kara Adams and Rebecca Daniels have been selected as directors of FMI—The Food Industry Association’s education department. Adams most recently was a community manager at Foundant Technologies. Daniels has been with FMI since February 2019. 

The Organic Trade Association's new president is Tracy Favre, the vice president of sustainability for live operations at Handsome Brook Farms. She brings 30 years of experience to the role and served on the National Organic Standards Board from 2012-2017. OTA’s also welcomed two new board members: Heidi Diestel, president of sales and marketing at Diestel Family Ranch in California, and Ed Fish, vice president and general manager of varietal solutions at Bay State Milling.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has taken over as chair of the Western Governors' Association, replacing Colorado Governor Jared Polis who ended his term. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has been selected as the association's new vice chair. 

USDA has announced the individuals who will be a part of the 2023 class of E. Kika De La Garza Fellows. This program aims to help advance equity in professional development opportunities in the agriculture committee. To see a list of the individuals selected, click here.

Robert Farnam now serves as the president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association. Farnam has served on CCA’s board of directors for the past 10 years. He succeeds Philip Anderson, outgoing CCA president. Tom Harrington has been selected as president-elect.

UC Cooperative Extension farm adviser Rachael Freeman Long spent the past 37 years doing research on crop production, pollination and pest control and collaborating with farmers. Long worked with UCCE in Sonoma and San Joaquin counties as well as at UC Berkeley, before settling in Yolo County as a farm adviser in 1992 where her territory and influence continued to expand. After serving growers in Yolo, Solano and Sacramento counties for 31 years, she retired on July 1.

Correction: A previous version had listed Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon as the chair of the Western Growers Association. He has taken over as the chair of the Western Governors' Association. 

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