Date: Feb 21, 2012

IRVINE, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2012)—There’s a new team leader representing the most influential specialty crop producers in the fresh produce industry in the nation’s capitol. Joining Western Growers in Washington, D.C., is Dennis Nuxoll, newly appointed vice president of federal government affairs. A Capitol Hill veteran, Nuxoll will use his previous experience as senior director of federal policy at the American Farmland Trust and extensive knowledge of federal affairs to advocate on behalf of California and Arizona growers, shippers and handlers on issues that affect their profitability and well-being. He will begin work March 5.

“Dennis brings a unique perspective and strong skill set as a legislative expert to Western Growers, as well as proven success as a lobbyist. We are very pleased to have him join the Western Growers staff,” said Tom Nassif, president & CEO of Western Growers.

Nuxoll has more than 15 years of experience as an attorney, Congressional staffer and agricultural lobbyist. In addition to his post at the American Farmland Trust, Nuxoll previously served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus as well as an attorney with Stewart and Stewart Law Offices in Washington, D.C., where he represented agricultural interests among other clients. Nuxoll received his law degree from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in political science and history.

Ken Barbic—also in Western Growers’ Washington, D.C., office—is being promoted to senior director of federal government affairs. Barbic has served in the Washington, D.C., office since July 2009. Originally from Bakersfield, Calif., Barbic was exposed to the fresh produce industry at a very early age. He works on a variety of issues important to the specialty crop industry in California and Arizona, including immigration reform, international trade, water, health care reform and the Farm Bill. He has, and will continue, to work with Congress and members of the executive branch to ensure Western Growers interests are considered and implemented.

“This is a testament to the good work Ken is doing and has been doing,” Nassif said. “This is a positive step for Western Growers and serves to strengthen our voice and influence in front of the nation’s thought and opinion leaders.”

About Western Growers:

Since 1926, we have represented local, regional family farmers growing traditional and organic fresh produce in Arizona and California. Our members produce half the nation’s fresh fruits and vegetables including a third of America’s fresh organic produce. For generations we have provided variety and healthy choices as the first line of defense against obesity and disease. You could say we grow the best medicine in the world.

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