SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Democrat Karen Ross, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's chief of staff, as state agriculture secretary.
Ross served as president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers from 1996 to 2009, when she moved to USDA. She served on the State Board of Food and Agriculture from 2001 to 2009.
On the state board, Ross guided development of Agricultural Vision, a document published in December by the Schwarzenegger administration that prescribes farm-supporting policies for the next two decades.