Ranking Member Boozman Announces Agriculture Committee’s Republican Staff Roster

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, announced the Committee’s Republican staff for the 117th Congress. 

“I am excited to move forward with this accomplished team as we work to advance policies that will grow the farm economy, modernize important nutrition programs and expand opportunities across rural America,” Boozman said.

The following list includes the titles, responsibilities and brief background of each staff member: 

Martha Scott Poindexter, Staff Director
Poindexter returns to the Committee as staff director for the Republican side. She had previously led the committee staff from 2005-2010 under then-Sen. Saxby Chambliss, from both the majority and minority sides, and managed the passage of the 2008 farm bill during that period. Additionally, she has served as the staff director of the Republican side of Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and most recently was vice president for government and industry affairs for Bunge.

Fred Clark, Chief Counsel
Clark will continue to work for the Committee in the role of chief counsel. Clark has a long history with agriculture policy having worked for more than 10 years with Cornerstone Government Affairs as general counsel and managing partner, representing commodity, food, finance and international entities. Prior to that, he was president of Clark & Muldoon, a law firm specializing in agriculture, trade and finance. Clark also served for 10 years as staff in the U.S. House of Representatives, including eight years with the agriculture committee.

Andrew Rezendes, General Counsel
Rezendes joined the Committee in 2015 and has served as general counsel since 2017. He will continue to serve as lead counsel on executive agency nominations under the Committee’s jurisdiction, including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) and the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac). In addition, he will serve as lead counsel on financial services, climate and derivatives policy issues under the committee’s jurisdiction.

Peggy Browne, Senior Professional Staff
Browne comes to the Committee after having previously served as the deputy administrator for field operations at USDA. She will handle the conservation portfolio including environment, clean water and endangered species and serve as a senior member of the climate change team. Browne’s work with the federal government began as the executive director for the Farm Service Agency in Oregon. Browne has farmed and ranched all her life and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in rangeland ecology and management.

Darin Guries, Senior Professional Staff
Guries joined the Committee in 2015 and will continue as senior professional staff managing a portfolio that includes rural development, broadband, housing, energy and utilities, as well as CFTC issues. Prior to joining the Committee, Guries was a member of then-Sen. Pat Robert’s personal office staff where he served as a legislative assistant and then as deputy legislative director.

Chelsie Keys, Senior Professional Staff
Keys started with the Committee in 2015 and will continue to serve as senior professional staff, managing a portfolio that includes livestock, poultry and climate related issues. Prior to joining the Committee, she worked at the National Pork Producers Council where she served as director of government affairs. Keys was raised on a grain and cow-calf farm in southern Minnesota, and earned a bachelor’s degree in applied economics from the University of Minnesota. 

Pam Miller, Senior Professional Staff
Miller joins the Committee as senior professional staff after serving as the administrator of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) as well as the senior associate administrator for policy at FNS. She will manage a portfolio of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), child nutrition, domestic hunger, international hunger and food aid programs, as well as trade and trade-related programs. Prior to her tenure at USDA, Miller worked in the U.S. House of Representatives for 20 years, serving as senior professional staff at the House agriculture appropriations subcommittee and the House agriculture committee. She worked on the 2002, 2008 and 2014 farm bills and appropriations bills from FY14-18, mainly focused on the nutrition title.

John Newton, Chief Economist
Newton will be joining the Committee as chief economist. Newton was previously at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), where he served as chief economist, a role which he assumed in 2018 after serving as director of market intelligence for two years. Before joining AFBF, he served as the chief economist for the National Milk Producers Federation. Newton holds a doctorate in agricultural economics and master’s degrees in macroeconomics and agricultural economics, all obtained at Ohio State University. 

Dudley Hoskins, Professional Staff/Counsel
Hoskins joins the Committee as professional staff and counsel. He will handle a portfolio that includes forestry, specialty crops, biotech and marketing and regulatory programs. Prior to joining the Committee, Hoskins served at USDA as chief of staff for the marketing and regulatory programs (MRP) before being promoted to senior advisor to then-Secretary Sonny Perdue for MRP, natural resources & environment issues. In addition to his experience at USDA, Hoskins has worked for the American Horse Council, the Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. 

Skylar Sowder, Professional Staff
Sowder joins the Committee as professional staff managing Title I commodity programs, crop insurance and grain standards. Prior to joining the Committee, Sowder worked for Boozman’s personal office as a legislative assistant covering agriculture, nutrition and trade issues. Sowder worked for the House agriculture committee prior to joining Boozman’s staff. She was raised on a cotton and grain sorghum farm in west Texas, and graduated from Texas Tech University with an undergraduate degree in agriculture economics.

Jeremy Witte, Professional Staff
Witte joins the Committee as professional staff managing research, dairy, homeland security, National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility and biosecurity. Prior to joining the Committee, Witte worked for the House agriculture committee and Cornerstone Government Affairs. He holds a master’s degree in economics from George Mason University and bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics and agriculture business from New Mexico State University. Witte grew up in New Mexico where he showed livestock and participated in farm management judging as a member of 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA).

Taylor Wiseman, Legislative Assistant
Wiseman joined the Committee as a staff assistant last year while she was finishing her master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Arkansas. She will continue working for the Committee as a legislative assistant focusing on livestock, climate, forestry, 4-H/FFA and economics. Wiseman grew up in Vilonia, Arkansas on her family’s small farm where she was actively involved in 4-H and FFA. She has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business from Southern Arkansas University. 

Mary Catherine Cromley, Legislative Assistant
Cromley joins the Committee from Boozman’s personal office where she served as a legislative aide for four years. In her role as legislative assistant at the Committee, she will be working on Arkansas agriculture issues, nutrition, specialty crops, biotech, marketing and regulatory programs and rural development. Cromley earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and applied economics from the University of Georgia. She grew up on a cotton, peanut and beef cattle farm in Brooklet, Georgia.

Patrick Creamer, Communications Director
Creamer will serve as the communications director for the Committee. He joins the Committee after serving as the senior communications advisor in Boozman’s personal office for the past decade. Creamer previously worked for Boozman in the U.S. House of Representatives where he served as his first press secretary and communications director. 

Macie Kelly, Staff Assistant
Kelly, who currently serves as a legislative correspondent in Boozman’s personal office, will join the Committee to serve as staff assistant. A native Arkansan, Kelly grew up in a family that owned a small beef and hay production in south central Missouri for four generations. Growing up, Kelly was involved in both 4-H and FFA, eventually serving as a state officer for the Arkansas FFA Association. Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture communications from the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas.