ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture is excited to announce the recent promotions of staff members Ellen Roth to operations manager and Maria Martinez to NASDA Foundation manager.
Ellen joined NASDA as an executive administrator in July 2021. In addition to serving as the NASDA’s CEO executive administrator, she served as a staff liaison to the NASDA Board of Directors advancing member relations and office communications for the organization. Ellen helped improve the efficiency of finance operations and record keeping for NASDA and improved programming initiatives, including NASDA’s efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion. Recently, Ellen has assisted NASDA’s international programming team in implementing NASDA’s Emerging Market Program grant.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to continue my professional growth with NASDA,” Ellen said. “I look forward to further supporting our members and stakeholders in this new role.”
Ellen is from Tonkawa, Oklahoma, and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Oklahoma City University.
Maria joined the NASDA Foundation as the coordinator of programs and grants in May 2021 and has since increased the national visibility of the foundation through her work. She has led, launched and assisted numerous programs in the foundation including the Farm2Food Accelerator program, Good Agricultural Practices Cooperative Agreement and Local Agriculture Market Program Grant Assistance, all of which assist underserved farmers in advancing their operations. She spearheaded the Agriculture Policy Summit and NASDA’s Next Generation programs, encouraging and teaching students about careers in food and agriculture and helping them gain a better understanding of agricultural policy and current issues. Under her leadership, the foundation has awarded $37,000 in scholarships to minority students in America, brought BIPOC and women producers to two national food trade shows and strengthened current and new relationships with foundation sponsors. Maria said she is excited to continue her work of reaching new and underserved members of the agricultural community.
“As a first-generation student college-student, I am incredibly proud of the meaningful work that I lead at the NASDA Foundation,” Maria said. “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to lead and strengthen programs that all state departments of agriculture can benefit from. In my new role, I am excited to continue to build bridges that foster an environment of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion for all agriculturalists across America.”
Maria is from Queens, New York, and earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in agriculture and environmental education with an emphasis in agricultural communication from the University of Georgia.
NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories. NASDA grows and enhances American food and agricultural communities through policy, partnerships and public engagement. To learn more about NASDA, please visit www.nasda.org.