James D. “Jamie” Johansson was elected president of the California Farm Bureau Federation in December 2017. Johansson is a former chairman of the CFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers State Committee and former vice president of the Butte County Farm Bureau. His service in Farm Bureau has included membership on a half-dozen other statewide advisory and policy recommendation committees. He grows olives and citrus fruit in Oroville and operates an olive oil company, Lodestar Farms. He is a co-founder of the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Association and a former board member of the California Olive Oil Council.
Danielle Downey, the Executive Director for Project Apis m., has been working with honey bees and the parasites that plague them for over 25 years. Her background includes training and research from bee labs in Minnesota, Canada and France; beekeeper education, work with commercial beekeepers and queen breeders, regulatory work as a State Apiarist in Utah and Hawaii, and wrangling bees for TV and film. She has worked closely with the Apiary Inspectors of America, Bee Informed Project and a bee breeding project with collaborators in Hawaii, Louisiana and Europe selecting and refining Varroa resistant bees. She holds a BSc from University of Minnesota and an MSc from Simon Fraser University.
Chris was born into a beekeeping family in Ephrata, Washington in 1975. He and his five brothers grew up spending springs managing apple pollination in central Washington and summers pulling and extracting honey in North Dakota. Together they now own Hiatt Honey Co., started by their father 50 years ago. Chris splits his work year between Madera, California and Bowman, North Dakota running 20,000 hives. He also manages the business’s almond orchard in Madera.
Jay Miller is the Vice President of the American Beekeeping Federation and owner of 2J Farms, a 5th generation family-owned business. They manage over 4,000 hives of bees in CA, ID, and ND. Each year they travel the country to pollinate almonds, extract honey in Blackfoot, ID, and have been pioneers in cold storage and offer these services at their refrigerated/air-conditioned bee storage facility at their shop in Blackfoot, ID.
Susan Cobey works with Washington State University and operates Honey Bee Insemination Service. The focus of her work with WSU is incorporating germplasm collected from Old World European honey bees into domestic breeding stocks to enhance genetic diversity. HBIS provides training in the skills essential for stock selection and maintenance. She founded the New World Carniolan Program, now being transitioned to Certified Queen Producer Cooperators. Her background includes managing honey bee research labs at University of California, Davis and Ohio State University and work at the USDA Honey Bee Lab., Baton Rouge. She has worked in commercial queen production in FL. and CA., and co-founded and operated a queen production business, Vaca Valley Apiaries, in northern California.
Dalial Freitak is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Biology at Karl Franzens University of Graz, Austria. She has been studying insect immunity for over 15 years and her desire to understand how organisms adapt to stressors has led to paradigm shifting discovery of the underlying mechanisms behind immune priming in honeybees. She is currently leading the honeybee pathology lab in at the University and is teaching students about immunology and social insects. Outside of basic research, Dalial is a founding member and CSO of Dalan Animal Health, Inc. – a company pioneering the development a first vaccine for honeybees.
Anne Marie Fauvel is the Tech Team Coordinator for the Bee Informed Partnership based at the University of Maryland. She lends a hand in coordinating the many BIP programs, and mostly is charged with the logistics of the 5 main beekeeping regions, home of the Honey Bee Health Field Specialists and their activities. She works directly with commercial beekeepers bringing industry and research together. The Tech Team leads the sampling, monitoring, reporting and consulting efforts, resulting in collecting copious amounts of data on colony health, management and treatment, performing industry trials and acting as a consultant with unique regional and national perspectives.
Vincent Ricigliano is a research scientist at the USDA-ARS honey bee breeding, genetics, and physiology lab in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His research aims to improve honey bee nutrition in the face of landscape agricultural intensification and climate change.
Tracy Schohr is the Livestock and Natural Resource advisor for Plumas, Sierra and Butte counties for UC Cooperative Extension. Tracy received her B.S. in Agricultural Business from California State University, Chico and M.S. in Horticulture and Agronomy from University of California, Davis. Her research and extension activities are at the interface of ecological sustainability and economic productivity. In this role, she assist ranchers and land managers throughout the region to address topics such as water quality, invasive species, post fire grazing, and regulatory compliance. Tracy works with clientele, students and policy makers to recognize managed grazing can be part of the solution to meeting conservation objectives.
Elina L. Niño is an Extension Specialist for Apiculture with UC ANR UCCE located in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis. Through her extension activities, Dr. Niño works to support beekeepers and the beekeeping industry. She serves as the research liaison on the CSBA Board and as a member of the Pollinator Workgroup for the Almond Board of California. Her lab also offers a variety of beekeeping courses and educational opportunities for beekeepers, future beekeepers, other agricultural professionals and the public. Most recently, her lab has implemented the first California Master Beekeeper Program. Dr. Niño’s research interests encompass basic and applied approaches to understanding and improving honey bee health and particularly honey bee queen health.
Prof Wright studied botany as an undergraduate at the University of Wyoming. She was selected as a Rhodes Scholar in 1994 to attend the University of Oxford and received a DPhil in Zoology in 1998. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Entomology in the Rothenbuhler Honeybee Laboratory and the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at Ohio State University for 6 years. In 2005, she moved to Newcastle University to take up a faculty position in the School of Biology and the Institute of Neuroscience. In 2018, she moved to the Department of Zoology (now Biology) at Oxford and was elected the Hope Professor of Zoology (Entomology) in 2021. Her lab studies how bees detect, learn about, and regulate their intake of nutrients and secondary metabolites. Her lab has focused on the nutrition of bees for the past 15 years and has made many discoveries including the optimal values for protein, carbohydrate, fat and micronutrients needed by adult nurse-age honeybees. Her lab is currently studying the lipidome of the honeybee, with an emphasis on fatty acids and the sterol biology of whole colonies. In 2016, she was awarded the Hoopingarner Award by the American Beekeeping Federation for her work on nutrition. (https://www.zoo.ox.ac.uk/people/professor-geraldine-wright, https://oxfordbeelab.com/).
Mel began his career at Blue Diamond in 1992, in the role of Field Supervisor serving member/growers in northern Stanislaus, and San Joaquin counties. Mel is now the Vice President of Member Relations and oversees a team of nine regional managers who serve as direct support to the 3,000 grower-members of the Blue Diamond grower cooperative. Mel serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Almond Board of California, ABC, and as a member of the ABC’s Strategic Agricultural Innovations Committee. He also serves as a member of the University of California Integrated Pest Management Advisory Council.
Dr. Lewis oversees research for the Almond Board of California. Prior to joining the Almond Board, she was Associate Vice President at the Environmental Defense Fund, where she focused on ecosystems and sustainable agriculture. She previously served as the Associate Director of the University of California, Davis World Food Center and worked in business development for Arcadia Biosciences. Dr. Lewis spent 16 years with the U.S. Agency for International Development, most recently as Director of the Office of Agriculture, where she played a leadership role in the development of the Administration’s global initiative on food security.