Jenny Lester Moffitt Nominated for Top USDA Position

Jenny Lester Moffitt and Russ Lester

Longtime farmer advocate and state administrator with deep roots in the organic community Jenny Lester Moffitt has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs.

Moffitt has served the agricultural community in California for the past seven years as undersecretary and deputy secretary in the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). One of her numerous accomplishments as undersecretary was ensuring that CDFA’s annual Agricultural Statistics Review includes data on organic production in the state. She has also been instrumental in developing CDFA’s Climate Smart Agriculture Programs.

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “Jenny Moffitt’s nomination to serve as undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs demonstrates that USDA is committed to putting the perspective of our producers at the heart of what we do.”

California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross also released a statement lauding Moffitt, saying, “She is detail-oriented and a talented problem solver who brings all stakeholders together, and her experience as a farmer places her in a very strong position to understand the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

Moffitt has long been part of California’s organic community. She previously served on the CCOF Board of Directors when she was the managing director of Dixon Ridge Farms, an organic walnut farm in Solano County. Moffitt served as a member of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee, as an Organic Trade Association Farmers Advisory Council member, and as vice chair of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

As undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs, Moffitt would be responsible for managing USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, which houses the National Organic Program, and other key agencies, including the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which is responsible for regulating genetically modified organisms, and the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.

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