Sen. Pat Roberts announces new hires to staff, including Chance Hunley

WASHINGTON, D.C. - One local man will soon have the opportunity to give a voice to Cherokee County in the nation's capitol. The Office of Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) announced on July 27, that Riverton native Chance Hunley will be joining his staff in Washington, D.C., with the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Senator Roberts is currently serving in his second congress as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. He is the first member of congress in modern committee history to serve as Chairman of both the House and now the Senate Agriculture Committees.

Hunley joins the Committee as staff assistant and legislative correspondent. He most recently worked as the events and marketing coordinator for the Kansas FFA Foundation. He also holds work experience in agricultural economics, leadership education, and the equine industry, and has been involved with the National FFA Organization, agriculture literacy groups and student government. Hunley grew up in Riverton, and earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and journalism from Kansas State University.

The Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry is empowered with legislative oversight of all matters relating to the nation's agriculture industry, farming programs, forestry and logging, and legislation relating to nutrition and health. Senator William Findlay, of Pennsylvania, founded the committee in 1825. He argued that agriculture was as important to national progress as commerce and manufacturing.

Along with Hunley, Senator Robert's Office announced three additional new hires and a promotion on his Committee staff:

Fred Clark joins the Committee as senior counsel. Since 2015, Clark has helped lead global missions as a volunteer at his local church. Prior to that, he worked for more than 10 years with Cornerstone Government Affairs as general counsel and managing partner, representing commodity, food, finance, and international entities. Clark served as counsel to the PMA Group for three years. For five years, he was president of Clark & Muldoon, a law firm specializing in agriculture, trade, and finance. Fred served for 10 years as staff in the U.S. House of Representatives, including eight years with the Agriculture Committee, participating extensively in the writing of the 1985 and 1990 farm bills, the Ag Credit Act of 1987, and the Futures Trading Practices Act of 1992. Raised in San Jose, Calif., Fred served as FFA State Treasurer. Fred earned a B.S. in Agricultural Business Management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.

DaNita Murray, previously senior counsel and policy director for the Committee, adds the title of chief counsel. Prior to the Senate Agriculture Committee, she worked as counsel for the House Committee on Agriculture. She has also worked for the National Corn Growers Association on biotechnology policy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including roles as a special assistant in the Under Secretary Office of Food Safety, congressional liaison, and confidential assistant in the Farm Service Agency. Murray received her undergraduate degree from South Dakota State University and her Juris Doctor from Drake University Law School. DaNita grew up on her family's farm near Milbank, S.D.

Haley Donahue joins the Committee as staff assistant and legislative correspondent after interning in Senator Roberts’ office earlier this year. She is a graduate of Emory University where she earned a bachelor's degree in economics. Donahue is from Vernon Conn. For over 60 years, her family has actively supported and provided farm and shipping supplies to growers on both a national and regional basis.

-- Jordan Zabel is the managing editor for the Cherokee County News-Advocate. He can be emailed at jzabel@sekvoice.com.