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Chairman Roberts Announces Selection of Key Agriculture Committee Staff

WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry today announced his senior staff selections.

“We have a great, hard-working team in place with experience in the Senate, in farming and ranching, and in leadership roles within agriculture,” Senator Roberts said. “I am also proud to say they are all Kansans.”

Staff Director: Joel Leftwich
Joel Leftwich most recently worked as Senior Director for PepsiCo's Public Policy and Government Affairs team. He previously served Senator Roberts as Deputy Staff Director for the Ag Committee and as a Legislative Assistant covering agriculture, energy and transportation policy. Leftwich's professional career includes being a Legislative Aide to Congressman Jim Ryun (R-KS), Director of Alumni Relations at Friends University, Congressional Liaison at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Congressional Relations, and Program Manager for DuPont's government affairs team. Leftwich was born and raised in Wellington, Kansas and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas and a Master of Arts degree from Loyola University of Chicago.

Communications Director: Sarah Little
Sarah Little has worked for Senator Roberts for 16 years. She will join the Ag Committee while also continuing to serve as the Communications Director in the personal office.  She has also served as Roberts’ spokeswoman when he was Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration from 2013-2014, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee from 2011-2012 and Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 2003-2007. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Communications from American University in Washington, DC and is from Prairie Village, Kansas.

Professional Staff: Wayne Stoskopf
Wayne Stoskopf has worked as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Roberts handling agriculture, nutrition, and water issues since June 2012. He also served as the liaison between Roberts personal and Agriculture Ranking Member offices. He previously worked for U.S. Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) handling agriculture policy and was a Field Director in central Kansas for U.S. Senator Jerry Moran’s 2010 campaign. Stoskopf was born and raised on his family’s wheat, sorghum and livestock farm near Hoisington, Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness. He served as Student Government Vice President from 2009-2010.

In addition to Committee Staff, Roberts’ state staff includes:

 Kansas Agricultural Assistant: Melvin Thompson
Mel Thompson first worked with Pat Roberts when they were staffers for First District Congressman Keith Sebelius (R-KS) in 1969. He has been Senator Roberts’ Kansas Agricultural Assistant based in Wichita since 1997. Mel received the “Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award” from the Kansas Farm Bureau in 2004. Thompson graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics and Business. Since 1976, he has managed the Thompson family farm recognized as a Century Farm by Kansas Farm Bureau in 2003.