As a Vice President for Michael Torrey Associates, Katie Naessens advises clients on a wide range of legislative and regulatory issues impacting the food and agriculture sector.
Katie joins MTA from the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry where she was senior professional staff under the leadership of Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow. For nearly a decade, Katie advised Senator Stabenow on a range of policy issues including agricultural research, organics, specialty crops, credit, beginning and historically underserved farmers, local food systems, urban agriculture, food safety, rural development, and nutrition. Her legislative achievements include passage of the 2018 and 2014 Farm Bills, several COVID-19 pandemic assistance packages, and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Her work included committee oversight of food and agriculture programs implemented at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit Administration, as well as the Food Safety Modernization Act at the Food and Drug Administration.
Prior to joining the Committee, she held a political appointment in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Agriculture where she worked for the Under Secretaries in both the Marketing and Regulatory Programs and Food Safety mission areas, in the White House Liaison Office, and in the Office of the Secretary. While at the department, she contributed to new policy development on healthy food access and food safety regulation and worked to expand public and private financial partnerships in rural communities. Katie was born and raised in Minnesota and has a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse.