Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

Jennifer Lester Moffitt Confirmed to Serve as USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs

Congratulations to CDFA Undersecretary Jenny Lester Moffitt, who has been confirmed as USDA’s new Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs!

We are all so proud of our friend and colleague, Jenny Lester Moffit, who has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Undersecretary for USDA’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs! Jenny joined the CDFA team seven years ago as Deputy Secretary and then became Undersecretary.  Her experience working with her father managing the family organic walnut farm and processing operation brought valuable insight to CDFA, as did her service on the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. Jenny has an attention to detail combined with a collaborative problem-solving approach that makes her a joy to have as a partner on our executive team.  Most importantly, Jenny brought the heart of a farmer into the major policy discussions that so directly impact every farming and ranching family in California, and she has a passion to serve all who are part of California agriculture!

I am grateful to Jenny for her wise counsel these past seven years and for her friendship.  Thank you Jenny for all you have done for us at CDFA and for the people of California.  I am excited to watch the next chapter of your impressive career.  Wishing you and your family all the best! 

CDFA Secretary Karen Ross

When Jenny transitioned from a Deputy Secretary to Undersecretary a few years ago, her collaborative style was the glue that helped us cement a very cohesive executive team.  There were only three of us for a period of time; Secretary Ross , Jenny and myself.  Over time we were able to bring additional executive team members on board to help us spread our responsibilities out in a more sustainable manner.  The collaborative spirit and highly effective communication she practiced established a standard of high functioning teamwork that will greatly benefit USDA.

CDFA Deputy Secretary Kevin Masuhara

Jenny has a deep and intrinsic knowledge of how policy can impact agriculture in practice. She is also incredibly hardworking and has a knack for finding the positive. I’ve been so lucky to have her as a colleague and as resource on major pieces of legislation, such as the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund and the establishment of CDFA’s Climate Smart Agriculture Technical Assistance Grants Program. I am going to miss Jenny greatly and am sending her a huge congratulations as she embarks on the next adventure in her career.

CDFA Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs Rachael O’Brien

Thank you for your support of CDFA Climate Smart Agriculture efforts, including the Healthy Soils Program, and ensuring that the programs are applicable and practical to all farmers and ranchers in the State of California. Wish you the best in your new position at USDA.

CDFA Science Advisor to the Secretary Amrith Gunasekara

Jenny has been a delight to work with because of her vision and collaborative abilities. These attributes were on full display during the pandemic when the state desperately needed personal protective equipment (ppe) and isolation housing for COVID-impacted farmworkers. Jenny’s leadership and work with the counties to implement a distribution plan for PPE and the development of the Housing-For-the-Harvest program was invaluable and unparalleled.

CDFA County-State Liaison Hyrum Eastman

California has been lucky to have Jenny working for us throughout the pandemic. She worked tirelessly both to ensure that farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers had the support they needed, and to connect farmers with food banks to ramp up their ability to support our hardest-hit communities. Her passionate devotion to protecting our food supply and ensuring access to healthy, farm-fresh food makes her a perfect fit to serve as Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at USDA.

Special Assistant to the Executive Office Arima Kozina

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