Biden announces intent to nominate WHS grad to leading USDA position

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President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Jenny Lester Moffitt to serve as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, (MRP), Department of Agriculture, (USDA). The nomination requires Senate confirmation.

Moffitt currently serves as under secretary for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, (CDFA). She joined CDFA in 2015 as a deputy secretary and in 2018 was appointed under secretary where she works on issues that affect ranchers and farmers, including climate change, land use, water policy and food security.

Prior to joining CDFA, Moffitt worked for 10 years as managing director at her family’s organic walnut farm and processing operation, Dixon Ridge Farms, located in Winters.

The USDA’s MRP facilitates domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products and ensures the health and care of animals and plants. MRP agencies are active participants in setting national and international standards.

The Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs is a high-ranking position within the USDA that supervises policy development and day-to-day operations of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Agricultural Marketing Service, and the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration.

In the announcement from the White House, it notes, “As a farmer and policymaker, Moffitt has engaged with agricultural stakeholders on the critically important balance of sustaining our environment, strengthening our rural economics and building healthy communities.”

Moffitt has served on the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board and worked for American Farmland Trust where she was an education, outreach, and research specialist as well as a land projects specialist.

Moffitt is a graduate of Winters High School (Class of 1998) and Brown University where she majored in economics and earned a bachelor’s degree. She grew up in Winters and is the daughter of Kathy and Russ Lester. She currently lives in Davis with her husband and daughter.

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