Texas A&M AgriLife has hired Jennifer Yezak, an experienced public servant in agriculture policy, to lead AgriLife’s extensive agriculture and natural resources policy agenda in our nation’s capital.
“Jennifer brings many years of agricultural policy and government affairs experience to the table and is prepared to advocate for Texas A&M AgriLife with Congress and federal agencies,” said Patrick Stover, Ph.D., the vice chancellor and dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research.
Yezak will serve as associate director of federal relations for Texas A&M. She joined the Texas A&M University System Jan. 6.
“After an extensive search, Jennifer clearly rose to the top of an excellent pool. We are excited to have her join our federal relations team in Washington, D.C.,” said Scott Sudduth, associate vice chancellor for Federal Programs for the A&M System.
Yezak most recently served as deputy clerk for the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture. Her previous experience includes 15 years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA, where she was director of external and intergovernmental affairs, senior advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture, and worked in legislative affairs at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Her professional work started in Washington, D.C. as legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen. Yezak also served as director of legislative and regulatory affairs for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture for more than six years
In 2017, Yezak was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership, TALL, Program, now called the Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. TALL program that is supported by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
“I am very excited about this opportunity to help Texas A&M AgriLife achieve its goals at the federal level and support Texas agriculture and all those involved in ensuring safe, healthy food systems and conserving our natural resources,” Yezak said.
Texas A&M AgriLife includes the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.
Before her federal experience, Yezak was committee clerk for the Texas House Committee on Agriculture under the leadership of State Rep. Dudley Harrison of Sanderson, and was administrator of commodity programs at the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Yezak earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and her master’s degree in agricultural development from Texas A&M University in College Station. Her hometown is Bremond, Texas, where her family still raises cattle. Her father, Class of ’38, and a brother, Class of ’75, also earned degrees from Texas A&M.