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As Capitol Hill gears up for the 2023 farm bill, hear the latest from a panel of experts about what to expect, challenges that lie ahead, key policy debates worth watching, and the best way to engage in the discussion.

Anne MacMillan co-chairs Invariant’s agriculture, trade, and transportation practice, leveraging over 15 years of experience across the federal government and private sector on behalf of industry leaders and trade associations. She served as senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack for several years, where she developed and implemented the agency’s regulatory agenda and managed the Secretary’s policy team. She was also senior policy advisor to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during her first term as Speaker, where she led agriculture, veterans, small business, and government oversight policy for the House Democratic Caucus, as well as coordinated outreach to the New Democrat Coalition and Blue Dogs Coalition. She spent most of her time on Capitol Hill with Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), where she worked on the 2008 Farm Bill and Endangered Species Act reform. In the private sector, Anne was director of government affairs for The Wonderful Company, a multi-billion-dollar farming and consumer packaged goods company headquartered in California. She is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and received her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School.

Andrew Walmsley joined the American Farm Bureau Federation in 2011 as Director, Congressional Relations. In addition to leading the farm policy team, Andrew is charged with managing energy, climate, transportation, and biotechnology issues for Farm Bureau. His work has included regulatory relief for farmers and ranchers, along with securing Farm Bureau priorities in multiple pieces of legislation that were eventually enacted into law. Because of this work, he has been named a Top Lobbyist by The Hill. He has held multiple leadership roles around Washington D.C. He helped establish and serve as chairman of the Farmers for a Sustainable Future Coalition, co-chairs the Agricultural Transportation Working Group, and is a founding member of the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance. He previously served as chairman of the Agricultural Biotech Alliance, as a steering committee member of the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, the Rail Customer Coalition, and as an advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on their Energy, Clean Air & Natural Resources Committee.

Ben Thomas is the senior policy director for agriculture at Environmental Defense Fund. He focuses on creating innovative and pragmatic solutions to address environmental risks from agriculture by working with key farm groups and policymakers across state and federal government. He has extensive experience working in both state and federal government to develop and implement policy related to food and agriculture. He understands the importance of strategic engagement with stakeholders, including farm groups, to create programs that are effective and workable on the ground.

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