New president for California grape growers
Government affairs veteran John Aguirre will be an advocate for California grape growers.
With trade association and Capital Hill experience, John Aguirre has been named the new president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers. Aguirre begins his new position on June 1, filling the void left by Karen Ross who left last year to become chief of staff for U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary John Vilsack.
Aguirre spent the last 11 years as executive director of the Oregon Association of Nurseries, a trade association representing Oregon’s ornamental horticulture products with 1,200 members. Plant pest and disease issues were a major focus, and he worked closely with the USDA and state agricultural department, helping launch the Grower Assisted Inspection Program and U.S. Nursery Certification Program.
After graduating from Virginia Tech, Aguirre spent five years in Congress working for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and later for the House Committee on Agriculture. In 1991, he became a lobbyist for the National Food Processors Association and moved to be vice president of government affairs for the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association. In 1999, took the top leadership position for Oregon’s nurseries.