The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


USDA announces appointments

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Friday announced a series of appointments at USDA.

Carlissia Graham has been appointed to serve as confidential assistant to Assistant Secretary for Administration Pearlie Reed.

Graham is the former scheduler and executive assistant for Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., and was also a scheduler for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. She was a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation intern for Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., from 2009 - 2010.

Graham was the founder and president of the West Tennessee Students for Barack Obama and a volunteer outreach director for the Obama campaign in Memphis. She earned her B.A. from the University of Memphis in 2009.

Patrick Kerrigan been appointed as senior adviser in the Foreign Agricultural Service.

Kerrigan served for two years as the senior trade and global competitiveness advisor to the Secretary of Commerce, managing trade-related programs, including the National Export Initiative (the "NEI") and U.S. leadership in the global clean energy economy. Kerrigan also oversaw the International Trade Administration's revitalization of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (the "TPCC").

Prior to his appointment at Commerce, Kerrigan served as a congressional liaison with the Presidential Inaugural Committee in 2009. He was previously a vice president and counsel for State Street Bank and Trust Company in Boston. Kerrigan earned a J.D. from Boston College Law School in 2002, M.B.A. from Boston College, and a B.A. in political science from the College of the Holy Cross.

Todd Campbell has been named a special assistant for energy programs focusing on alternative energy in the USDA’s rural development division.

Campbell has been a confidential assistant to the administrator for rural business and cooperative services and an advisor to the administrator on energy policy, regulation development, and program implementation.

Prior to joining USDA, Campbell served as the rural and agriculture constituency director at Clean Energy Works in Washington, where he launched a national outreach effort targeting farmers, agricultural organizations, and rural constituencies to highlight the benefits and opportunities with comprehensive energy reform.

Lanon Baccam has been named an executive assistant to Vilsack.

Baccam was appointed as deputy director of scheduling in May 2011. Prior to arriving at the USDA, he spent six years in the Iowa Army National Guard and two years on active duty, including a 15-month mobilization and deployment as a combat engineer to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2004-05.

During his deployment, Baccam was responsible for all explosive demolitions on his small provincial construction team base. He is a graduate of Drake University with a B.A. in politics and a minor in economics.

Toby Osherson has been named deputy scheduling director for Vilsack.

Osherson has previously been a special assistant at the Farm Service Agency and most recently the deputy White House liaison. From 2007-2008, Osherson worked for the Obama for America campaign in both the primaries and general election. He graduated from Skidmore College in 2006 with a B.A. in government.