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Board Members

Academic or Research Societies

V.M. “Bala” Balasubramaniam, The Ohio State University

V.M. “Bala” Balasubramaniam is a professor of food engineering with the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He is also a volunteer leader of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in Chicago, Illinois. Bala contributes to the advancement of food science by bringing together engineers and scientists with diverse multidisciplinary backgrounds to develop the next generation of industrially relevant food preservation and manufacturing technologies that help satisfy consumer demand for minimally processed preservative-free foods.

Location: Columbus, OH

Term: first, ends FY 2023 on 1/31/2023

Mario Ferruzzi, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

Dr. Mario G. Ferruzzi is a professor and chief of the Section of Developmental Nutrition in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. He serves as director of the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center, a partnership between USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute, with a research focus on the roles of maternal-child nutrition and physical activity in optimizing health and development. Dr. Ferruzzi has previously served on the faculties of North Carolina State University in Raleigh and Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where he developed research programs that interfaced agriculture, food and nutrition sciences in the study of micronutrient and phytochemical bioavailability and metabolism. He is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and the American Society for Nutrition.

Location: Little Rock, AR

Term: first, ends FY 2023 on 1/31/2023

Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education

Kenrett Jefferson-Moore, North Carolina A&T University (Chair)

Dr. Kenrett Y. Jefferson-Moore, Ph.D. is a professor and chairperson of the Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education (AAEAE) at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. She has served as the chief academic officer of AAEAE since January 2019, where she manages departmental budgets, operations, personnel, academic programs, and research portfolio. Dr. Jefferson-Moore’s research interests include the marketing and economic evaluation of local and organic foods and value-added agriculture. She has also collaborated on several projects across 1890 and 1862 land-grant institutions and USDA agencies. She served her first term as the 1890 LGCU representative on the USDA NAREEE Advisory Board from 2017 to 2020. She is the past chair of the Committee on the Opportunities and Status of Blacks in Agricultural Economics (COSBAE), a special interest membership section of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

Location: Greensboro, NC

Term: second, ends FY 2024 on 9/30/2024

Mark Lawrence, Mississippi State University

Dr. Mark Lawrence is a William L. Giles Distinguished Professor at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. His specialty is veterinary microbiology, especially in aquatic animal health. He conducts research in bacterial pathogenesis and vaccine development for fish, teaches microbiology to veterinary students, and does fish diagnostics for catfish producers. Currently, he serves as director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish and the Mississippi State University Global Center for Aquatic Food Security.

Location: Starkville, MS

Term: second, ends FY 2023 on 1/31/2023

Industry Consumer, or Rural Interests

Donnell Brown, National Grape Research Alliance

Ms. Donnell Brown left a career in high-tech corporate communications in 2009, entering New York’s wine industry as executive director of the Long Island Merlot Alliance and founding event director for the region’s annual Harvest East End. She later served as marketing director for Wölffer Estate Vineyard, a premium Long Island producer, before moving to California to serve as marketing director for Visit Temecula Valley. Brown is now president of the National Grape Research Alliance, working to align the research needs of wine, table, juice, and raisin grapes nationwide and catalyze game-changing, “big tent” projects of highest industry priority.

Location: Sacramento, CA

Term: first, ends FY 2024 on 9/30/2024

Richard De Los Santos, Texas Department of Agriculture

Mr. Richard De Los Santos grew up on a produce farm in Mission, Texas. He is a 1986 graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, where he graduated from the Texas AgriLife Lifetime Leadership (TALL) Program. De Los Santos was a member the Corps of Cadets, graduated Airborne School at Fort Benning, Georgia, in 1983 and Commissioned 2nd Lt U.S. Army in 1986. In addition to previously serving a term on the NAREE Board, De Los Santos served two terms on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. He has served the great state of Texas for 22 years at the Texas Department of Agriculture where he currently serves as the director for produce safety and livestock export. De Los Santos has two children, Drew and Richard X, and is married to Kris Ann De Los Santos.

Location: Austin, TX

Term: second, ends FY 2024 on 9/30/2024

Jane Kolodinsky, University of Vermont

Dr. Jane Kolodinsky, Ph.D. is acting associate dean of research, chair of the Department of Community Development, and director of the Center for Rural Studies in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Extension at the University of Vermont in Burlington. She is also past president and a fellow of the American Council on Consumer Interests. Kolodinsky brings research expertise and applied experience in rural community development, entrepreneurship and consumer issues to the board, having secured resources and worked directly with domestic and international communities to help match community capitals with economic opportunities to improve economic, environmental, and social quality of life.

Location: Burlington, VT

Term: first, ends FY 2024 on 9/30/2024

Tambra Raye Stevenson, Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture (WANDA)

Ms. Tambra Raye Stevenson is a patent holder, author and CEO of Women Advancing Nutrition Dietetics and Agriculture, working at the nexus of intersectionality, nutrition equity, sustainability, and health. She holds an M.P.H. in health communication from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, and a bachelor’s degree in human nutrition with a minor in Spanish from Oklahoma State University. Stevenson serves as the nutrition and health working co-chair for the D.C. Food Policy Council and nutrition security working co-chair for the Tufts Food and Nutrition Innovation Council. She is currently working on her Ph.D. at the American University School of Communication in Washington, D.C. After Tufts, Stevenson began her public service career at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the D.C. Mayor's Office on Women's Policy and Initiatives. She was also an extension agent at the University of the District of Columbia’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences.

Location: Washington, DC

Term: first, ends FY 2024 on 9/30/2024