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Faces of Agriculture: A USDA Speaker Series

Faces of Agriculture is an innovative monthly virtual speaker series (PDF, 330 KB) that aims to show the next generation of agricultural leaders that agriculture is about more than just farming. One way of telling the story of food and agriculture is to showcase the wide range of amazing talent and skill at USDA, where there are many career paths and where there is no such thing as a typical career in agriculture. Faces of Agriculture exposes students to the vast array of job possibilities, so that they may be inspired to consider career paths they may not have thought of before.

For example, at USDA, there are:

  • scientists, such as researchers, veterinarians, nutritionists, plant biologists
  • economists, who are tasked with duties like monitoring the country’s agricultural output or international agricultural trade
  • mathematicians, statisticians and data analysts, who help USDA make sense of reams of numbers and information
  • engineers, from civil engineers to robotics experts
  • photographers and videographers, who document the people and projects USDA is involved in
  • information technology experts, who keep USDA’s computer systems running
  • loan specialists, who help with administering USDA’s social safety net for agricultural producers
  • meteorologists, who provide weather information that is relevant to crop development
  • foresters, who help USDA maintain healthy forests
  • lawyers, who ensure that USDA operates fully within the law
  • communications experts, who help tell the stories of U.S. agriculture
  • law enforcement officers, who help protect our forestlands from criminal activity and investigate fraud of USDA programs and services.
  • animal handlers, did you know the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service uses dogs to help border agents sniff out contraband?
  • and many more professions.

USDA has a need for all kinds of skills and talents, from accounting to zoology. Everyone has something to contribute. Faces of Agriculture emphasizes that the world of agriculture is bigger than you think it is!

EPISODES:

2023

November 2023 featuring Office of Tribal Relations

Video featuring Office of Tribal Relations

Speakers:

Lawrence Shorty, Tribal Colleges Program Director
Lawrence Shorty (Nashashí Diné) Serves as the Tribal Colleges Program Director within USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations (OTR).

Lisa Yellow Luger, Tribal Liaison
Lisa Yellow Luger serves as a Tribal Liaison within USDA’s Office of Tribal Relations (OTR).

October 2023 featuring Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Speakers:

Samantha Joseph, Director
Samantha Joseph serves as the director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Nathaniel “Alex” Cordova, Deputy Director
Nathaniel “Alex” Cordova serves as the Deputy Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

September 2023 - Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

Video featuring Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

Speakers:

  • Ryan Brewster, Senior Advisor

    Ryan Brewster serves as the Senior Director for the Trade Missions and Shows Division in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
     
  • Daniel Orellana, Senior Advisor

    Daniel Orellana serves a Senior Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) Advisor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Programs.
August 2023 - Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Video featuring Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Speakers:

  • Katherine Parys, PhD; Lead Scientist and Research Entomologist
    • Dr. Katherine Parys is a Lead Scientist and Research Entomologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Pollinator Health in Southern Cropping Ecosystems Research Unit in Stoneville, Mississippi.

  • Sheina Sim, PhD; Research Biologist
    • Sheina Sim develops methods for controlling tropical fruit fly pests in specialty crop-growing regions of the United States.

July 2023 - Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

Video featuring Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

Speakers:

  • Leslie Lankster, Deputy Regional Administrator
    • Leslie Lankster currently serves as the Deputy Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Nutrition Service’s (FNS) Southwest Region.

  • Eddie Longoria, Regional Division Director, Child Nutrition Programs
    • Eddie Longoria is the Regional Division Director, Child Nutrition Programs for USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service Southwest Regional Office.

June 2023 - Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS)

Video featuring Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS)

Speakers:

  • Simone Tomlinson, DMV; Recruitment Coordinator/ Veterinarian
    • Dr. Simone Tomlinson serves as a Recruitment Coordinator for the and Veterinarian for the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service – Animal Care Unit at USDA.

  • Annette Chapman, DMV; Recruitment Coordinator/ Veterinarian
    • Dr. Annette Chapman serves as a Recruitment Coordinator for the and Veterinarian for the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service – Animal Care Unit at USDA.

May 2023 - Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS

Video featuring Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Speakers:

  • Shelby Guillen, Agricultural Marketing Specialist
    • Shelby Guillen serves as an Agricultural Marketing Specialist with the Food Disclosure and Labeling Division in the Research and Rulemaking Branch based in Washington, D.C.

  • ToiAyna Thompson, Farmers Market Manager
    • ToiAyna (Toi) Thompson serves as the Farmers Market Manager under the Transportation and Marketing Division at the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.

April 2023 - U.S. Forest Service (USFS)

Video featuring U.S. Forest Service (USFS)

Speakers:

  • Sylvia Staples, National Resource Assistants Program Manager

    Sylvia Staples serves as the National Resource Assistants Program Manager for the Washington Office of the USDA Forest Service.
  • Dr. Ricardo J. Santiago García, Ecologist, El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico

    Dr. Santiago Garcia is an Ecologist for the US Forest Service at El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico.
March 2023 - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Video featuring Economic Research Service (ERS)

Speakers:

  • Valerie Negron, Public Affairs Specialist
    • Valerie Negron is a Public Affairs Specialist with the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS).

  • Felix Baquedano, Branch Chief
    • Felix Baquedano is an agricultural economist and Branch Chief at the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS).

February 2023 - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Video featuring National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Speakers:

  • Ahlishia Shipley, Capacity Program Leader
    • Dr. Shipley currently serves as the Capacity Program Leader at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
  • Drenda Williams, Associate Director for Operations
    • Drenda Williams is currently the NIFA Associate Director for Operations at National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

2022

November 2022 - Forest Service (FS)

Video featuring Forest Service and Native American Heritage Month

Speakers:

  • LaTasha Wauneka-Anderson, Program Specialist
    • Latasha Wauneka-Anderson currently serves a Program Specialist with the Workforce Development Partnerships Service Hub in the Washington Office
  • Jeremiah R. Pinto, Research Plant Physiologist/Tribal Nursery Specialist
    • Jeremy Pinto is a Research Plant Physiologist in the Rocky Mountain Research Station and a Tribal Nursery Specialist
October 2022 - Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Video featuring Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Speakers:

  • Joseph E. Munyaneza, ARS National Program Leader
    • Dr. Joe Munyaneza is a National Program Leader for Specialty Crops with USDA-Agricultural Research Service. He oversees research projects related to vegetable, fruit, greenhouse, and ornamental crops, in addition to the Controlled Environment Agriculture Program.
  • Yaguang (Sunny) Luo, Senior Scientist at ARS Food Quality Lab & Env. Microbial and Food Safety Lab
    • Dr. Yaguang (Sunny) Luo is a Super Grade Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. She joined the agency in 2001 after over five years of research and management experience in the food industry.
September 2022 - USDA Interns and Scholars

Video featuring USDA Interns and Scholars

Speakers:

  • Angellisa Hoffman - USDA 1994 Tribal Scholar
    • Angellisa Hoffman is a USDA 1994 Tribal Scholar with USDA’s NRCS. Angellisa is from the White Mountain Apache tribe in Arizona.
  • Melanie Valentin - USDA Intern with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
    • Melanie Valentin attends the University of Illinois at Chicago studying Statistics and Criminal Justice. She served as a HACU Summer 2022 intern for NASS and a HACU Fall 2022 intern with FPAC.
August 2022 - Office of the Chief Economist (OCE)

Video featuring Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) /World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB)

Speakers:

  • Mark Brusberg – USDA Chief Meteorologist
    • Mark Brusberg serves as the Chief Meteorologist of USDA’s agricultural weather and assessments group, a component of the World Agricultural Outlook Board.  In this capacity, Mr. Brusberg helps to coordinate the activities of USDA agencies responsible for weather- and climate-related issues.

  • Brad Rippey - USDA Meteorologist
    • Brad Rippey is an agricultural meteorologist in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Chief Economist, and the managing editor of the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin.

July 2022 - Office of Communications (OC) and Farm Production and Conservation Mission Area

Video featuring Office of Communications and Farm Production and Conservation Mission Area

Speakers:

  • Kevin Conner, OC Television Production Specialist
    • Kevin Conner serves as a Television Production Specialist at the USDA Office of Communications, Creative Media and Broadcast Center. Kevin started his federal career as an intern at the Internal Revenue Service and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) while enrolled at the University of Maryland (UMD) majoring in Radio, TV, and Film.

  • Preston Keres, FPAC National Photographer/Videographer
    • Preston Keres is the National Photographer/Videographer for the Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) Business Center where he produces visual content. Before transferring to FPAC, Preston served as a photographer for USDA’s Office of Communications (OC) where he photographed the Agriculture Secretary and various national and international dignitaries.

June 2022 - Agricultural Research Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service

Video featuring USDA ARS and NRCS (Engineering Series)

Speakers:

  • Phuc H. Vu, PE, NRCS Agricultural/Civil Engineer
    • Phuc H. Vu is the USDA-NRCS-CNTSC Agricultural/Civil Engineer and has worked across private and governmental entities for the past 30 years as an agricultural and civil engineer.  Previously, worked at the USDA-NRCS National Design, Construction, and Soil Mechanics Center (NDCSMC) where he was the Design Engineer dealing with dam rehabilitation and design, emergency post-disaster mitigation, and stream restoration engineering.

  • Mark Williams, Ph.D., ARS Research Agricultural Engineer
    • Mark Williams, Ph.D. is a research agricultural engineer with the USDA – Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory in West Lafayette, IN. Mark received his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Penn State University where he studied hillslope hydrology and nutrient transport in the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay.

May 2022 - Agricultural Marketing Service

Video featuring Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Speakers:

  • Torey Ian Powell, AMS National Outreach Coordinator
    • Torey Powell currently serves as a National Outreach Coordinator for the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service where he leads an agency-wide effort to ensure equitable participation in AMS programs and services.

  • Jodie Pitcock, AMS National Training Coordinator
    • Mr. Pitcock is the National Training Coordinator for AMS’s Livestock and Poultry Program. In this role, Mr. Pitcock oversees the recruitment, career enhancement, and professional development initiatives to support the robust workforce delivering USDA market news, quality grading and certification, and standards development programs and services for the U.S. livestock, meat, poultry, and shell egg industries.

April 2022 - Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

Video featuring Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

Speakers:

  • Allison A. Thomas, FAS Managing Director - Trade Policy & Geographic Affairs
    • Allison A. Thomas serves as the Managing Director of Trade Policy and Geographic Affairs in the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), a foreign affairs agency within USDA.  She is an international advocate and proponent for U.S. agricultural trade and has spent the last 20 years working to expand the global footprint for American agriculture.

  • Mayra Caldera, FAS Program Management Analyst - Global Programs, Cooperator Program Division
    • Ms. Caldera has worked at the Foreign Agricultural Service since 2004.  She promoted global food security by strengthening agricultural productivity and reducing hunger and malnutrition through food assistance programs in Southeast Asia.  She conducted global economic analysis for beef and cattle trade and advised senior officials on market developments as the United States re-opens markets access with key trading partners.

March 2022 - Risk Management Agency (RMA)

Video featuring Risk Management Agency (RMA)

Speakers:

  • Roddric Bell, Director – RMA Regional Office, Jackson, MS
    • Mr. Bell has served as Director of the USDA-RMA Jackson Regional Office since 2015 where he is responsible for overall delivery of the federal crop insurance programs in the states of Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

  • Jaime Valdovinos, Risk Management Specialist – RMA Regional Office, Davis, CA
    • Jaime officially began his career with the USDA-Risk Management Agency as a Risk Management Specialist in the Davis Regional Office in January 2020. In this capacity, Jaime is responsible for conducting research, performing data analysis and technical work, and doing outreach to improve crop insurance programs for cane berries, dry peas and beans, and stone fruit in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.

February 2022 - Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Video featuring Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Speakers:

  • Janlyn Hannah, Executive Officer – FSA Oklahoma State Office
    • Janlyn Hannah is the Executive Officer for the Oklahoma USDA-Farm Service Agency. Over her 14-year career, Janlyn has also served as a County Operations Trainee, County Executive Director, State Outreach Coordinator and Public Relations Specialist, and Acting State Executive Director.

  • Jennifer Perez Cole, FSA National Outreach Specialist
    • Jennifer Perez Cole is a national outreach specialist with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers federal agricultural conservation, disaster assistance, farm loans and commodity price support programs for American farmers and ranchers.

2021

November 2021 - Office of Tribal Relations (OTR)

Video featuring USDA Office of Tribal Relations (OTR)

Speakers:

  • Heather Dawn Thompson, Office of Tribal Relations Director
    • Heather Dawn Thompson is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, a Harvard Law School graduate, and an expert in American Indian law, tribal sovereignty, and rural tribal economic development. Most recently, Thompson served as a member of the American Indian Law Practice Group at Greenberg Traurig, where she worked on federal Indian law and Tribal agriculture. Thompson has a long record of public service, beginning as a Presidential Management Fellow at the Department of Justice.

  • Trey Blackhawk, Office of Tribal Relations 1994 Scholar
    • Trey Blackhawk was born and raised in Nebraska on a small reservation called Winnebago, and he is an enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. He aims to help tribal nations and rural communities establish sustainability and food sovereignty through local food systems.

October 2021 - Rural Development (RD)

Video featuring Rural Development (RD)

Speakers:

  • Maya Vang, Rural Business & Cooperative Services Loan Assistant
    • Maya Vang is a Loan Assistant for the Business and Cooperative Program at the USDA Rural Development office in Fresno, California. Before starting her career with Rural Development in April 2021, Vang was a student at California State University, Fresno, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Finance.

  • Alba Lazaro, Single Family Housing Program Specialist

    • Alba Lazaro is a Single Family Housing Program Specialist with the USDA Rural Development office in Fresno, California. Lazaro was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico. Her parents immigrated to United States when she was 2 years old, and she was raised in Soledad, California.

September 2021 - National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)

Video featuring USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS)

Speakers:

  • Hisela Mendez, Survey Administrator
    • Hisela Mendez is a Statistician Survey Administrator for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Mendez is originally from Mexico, but now lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  She has been with USDA NASS For nearly five years.

  • Bianca Pruneda, Agricultural Statistician
    • Bianca Pruneda is an Agricultural Statistician for USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service. Pruneda obtained her bachelor’s degree from Washington State University in Agri-Business Economics and Management. She was raised in a migrant family and was a USDA Public Service Leader Scholar recipient in 2008.

August 2021 - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Video featuring Economic Research Service (ERS)

Speakers:

  • Christopher G. Davis, Economist
    • Christopher G. Davis is a senior beef analyst with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) in Washington DC. Davis has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. His primary responsibility is to forecast beef production for USDA’s monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates and provide industry analysis in the monthly ERS Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook report. Additionally, he conducts research on the beef and cattle sector as well as on dairy, poultry, beef, and pork trade.

  • Russell Thomas, Budget Analyst
    • Russell Thomas is a 2020 graduate from Prairie View A&M University, in Texas, where he majored in Agriculture, with a concentration in Business. Thomas was a 2016 recipient of the USDA 1890 National Scholarship, which provided him with the opportunity to intern with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service throughout his college career, in ARS offices in Washington, D.C. and College Station, Maryland.

July 2021 - Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

Video featuring Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)

Speakers:

  • Janell Conway, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Nutritionist
    • Janell Conway is an FNS Food Distribution Division nutritionist, with responsibility for providing technical guidance for nutrition-related issues in USDA food programs, including child nutrition programs, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). Prior to joining USDA, Janell worked to improve access to healthy food in underserved communities as the Director of Nutrition and Community Outreach at DC Central Kitchen and in 2015, she was named one of fifty leaders under 50 who are transforming the Washington, D.C. food system.
  • Andrea Alma, FNS Farm to School Regional Lead – Mountain Plains Region
    • Andrea Alma is the USDA Farm to School Regional Lead for the Mountain Plains Region, where works with schools, farms and other partners to get fresh, local food to schoolchildren around the region. Alma is based in Denver, Colorado, and prior to joining USDA, she was the Farm to School Coordinator for Minneapolis Public Schools. She began her career in Washington, DC where Andrea founded and directed the DC Farm to School Network. She has degrees in Environmental Engineering and Community Health from Tufts University.

June 2021 - Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

Video featuring USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

Speakers:

  • Juan F. Rodriguez, Food Safety and Inspection Service Program Manager
    • Juan Rodriguez is an FSIS Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer in Puerto Rico.  Rodriguez worked in Maine as a frontline supervisor, overseeing inspectors at FSIS-regulated facilities in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He also worked as an Veterinary Medical Officer with the FSIS Office of International Affairs’ Exports Program Staff. Prior to joining FSIS, Dr. Rodriguez served as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps.

  • Khali N. Jones, Supervisory Public Health Veterinarian
    • Khali Jones is an FSIS Supervisory Public Health Veterinarian for the Atlanta district.  Jones is a three-time alumna of Tuskegee University, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Animal Sciences, and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Her path to USDA started with the Pathways internship program, as a scholarship recipient and veterinary student trainee, who worked with federal veterinarians employed in poultry slaughter establishments.

May 2021 - Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS)

Video featuring Natural Resources and Conservation Service (NRCS)

Speakers:

  • Andrea Bridgewater-Fair, Supervisory District Conservationist with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
    • Andrea Bridgewater-Fair is a Supervisory District Conservationist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Bridgewater-Fair first became involved with USDA while participating in a summer ag recruitment program called the BAYOU Program, which stood for Beginning Agricultural Youth Opportunities Unlimited. She later received her bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Science from Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

  • Lizbeth Estrada Rocha, NRCS Civil Engineer\
    • Lizbeth Estrada Rocha is a Civil Engineer for the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service for the state of Missouri. She is a first-generation college student who graduated from the University of California, Davis with a bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

April 2021 - U.S. Forest Service (USFS)

Video featuring U.S. Forest Service (USFS)

Speakers:

  • Cynthia McArthur, Forest Service (FS) National Partnership Coordinator
    • Cynthia McArthur is a National Partnership Coordinator for the USDA Forest Service Washington DC office, with a remote duty station in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her portfolio includes programs that connect people of all backgrounds to nature, working with indigenous communities, the Secure Rural Schools Program and conservation finance.

  • Juana Rosas, FS National Partnership Coordinator
    • Juana Rosas serves as the Partnership Coordinator for the National Partnership Office in Washington DC, where she is responsible for The Secure Rural School Program. The daughter of “campesinos,” or farmers, Rosas was born in a small village in Mexico called Zambrano, Guanajuato. Her family migrated to California, where she grew up packing oranges, grapes, peaches, lemons, and other fruits with her family.

March 2021 - Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Video featuring Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Speakers:

  • Veronica Acosta-Martinez, Lead Soil Scientist – ARS Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Unit
    • Veronica Acosta-Martinez is the lead soil scientist with the ARS Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Unit.  She is originally from Puerto Rico, and works at the ARS Cropping Systems Research Lab in Lubbock, Texas, where she evaluates the response of soil microorganisms to changes in agricultural practices and climate variability as an indicator of soil health and functions related to nutrient availability, water conservation, and productivity in semi-arid climates.  She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Puerto Rico and graduate degrees from Purdue University and Iowa State University.
  • Robert J. Lascano, Research Leader – ARS Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Unit
    • Robert J. Lascano is a soil scientist with a team of researchers that investigates the sustainability of growing crops in arid environments. His focus is the Texas High Plains, where the two sources of water used to grow crops are irrigation-water from the Ogallala aquifer and rainfall.

February 2021 - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Video featuring National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

Speakers:

  • Carlos Ortiz, NIFA National Program Leader
    • Carlos Ortiz is a National Program Leader at NIFA, where he provides leadership to the K-14 Competitive Education Grants portfolio and other non-education agency crosscutting programs. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Texas-Pan American and a doctorate in Plant Pathology from Texas A&M University.

  • Erin Riley, NIFA National Program Leader for Tribal Programs
    • Erin Riley is the NIFA National Program Leader for Tribal Programs. Her portfolio includes Extension, Equity, Research, New Beginning for Tribal Students; the Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program and 1994 Endowment for the Tribal Colleges. She moved to Washington, D.C. from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

2020

November 2020 - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

Video featuring USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Speakers:

  • Dr. Hugh Conway, Supervisory Entomologist
    • Dr. Hugh Conway is a Supervisory Entomologist at the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine Science and Technology Mission Lab in Edinburg, Texas.

  • Josh Moose, Quarantine Officer/Canine Handler
    • Josh Moose is a Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer/Canine Handler with USDA’s National Detector Dog Training Center in Newnan, Georgia. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 10 years where he was a canine officer, trainer, and kennel master. He has traveled the world working with canine teams and the military training dogs to search for people, explosives, and drugs.

October 2020 - Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

Video featuring USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

Speakers:

  • Lazaro Sandoval, Senior Attaché – U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai, India
    • Lazaro Sandoval is the Senior Agricultural Attaché at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai, India. Prior to this position, Sandoval served as Agricultural Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires from 2015 to 2019.

  • Hazel González, International Trade Specialist
    • Hazel González is an International Trade Specialist at the office of Global Programs in the Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (FAS/USDA). Hazel’s portfolio covers capacity building programs that promote economic development and international trade.

September 2020 - Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Video featuring Architects from the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Speakers:

  • Ron Batcher, Architect
    • Ron Batcher is an Architect for USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.   Ron joined USDA in 2017 where he has worked to improve the Wholesale Market and Facility Design Program which provides no cost architectural design services to stakeholders across the United States for food related facilities, food hubs, farmers markets, wholesale markets, and other food facilities.

  • Sasha Pokrovskaya, Architect
    • Sasha Pokrovskaya joined USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) as an Architect in the Marketing Services Division in March 2020.
August 2020 - Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Video featuring Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Bee Research Lab

Speakers:

  • Dr. Jay Evans, Research Leader – ARS Bee Research Lab
    • Dr. Jay Evans is the Research Leader at the USDA Bee Research Lab in Beltsville Maryland. He and his team are involved in many projects, including mite studies, nutrition supplements for bees, queen health and nutrition.

  • Dr. Sam Ramsey, Postdoctoral Researcher, ARS Bee Research Lab
    • Dr. Samuel Ramsey (also known as Dr. Buggs), a postdoctoral researcher at the USDA Maryland is a honey bee mite expert and parasitologist.

July 2020 - Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

Video featuring Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) / Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)

Speakers:

  • Captain Mark Bills, Inspector – APHIS Investigative and Enforcement Services
    • Mark Bills works as an Investigator for USDA – APHIS – Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES) – South Central Area.

  • Lt. Nisha Oatman Antoine, Biologist – FSIS
    • Lt. Nisha Oatman Antoine is a Biologist with Food Safety and Inspection Service. She is an 1890 Nation Scholar and alumni of an 1890 Land-Grant Institution.

June 2020 - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)

Video featuring Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) / National Ag Statistics Service (NASS)

Speakers:

  • Roylene Comes At Night, State Conservationist – NRCS Washington State
    • Roylene is the State Conservationist in Washington State. She began work with NRCS 29 years ago as a trainee. During this time, she has worked as a Soil Conservationist, District Conservationist, American Indian Liaison for NRCS Arizona, Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations in Oklahoma, State Conservationist in Rhode Island and since 2009 in her current position.

  • Sylvia Guizar, Mathematical Statistician – NASS Methodology Division
    • Sylvia Guizar works as a Mathematical Statistician as part of the Methodology Division of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. She has been tasked to migrate from a legacy system to a new and centralized data analysis tool to meet Agency mission to provide timely, accurate and useful static in service to US Agriculture.

May 2020 - Forest Service (FS) and Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

Video featuring Forest Service (FS) and Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

Speakers:

  • Michael Rizo, Program Specialist – FS International Programs
    • Michael Rizo works as a Program Specialist with the Office of International Programs of the USDA Forest Service where he designs and coordinates outreach, education, and capacity-building projects geared toward community-level partners.

  • Dr. Roberto Rodriguez, Methods Development Engineer – APHIS PPQ Science and Technology Division

    • Dr. Roberto Rodriguez is a Methods Development Engineer with USDA-APHIS-PPQ Science & Technology. He primarily works on the development of novel systems for pest mitigation deployed from unmanned aircraft systems, commonly called “drones”.