Maximilian Merrill has been added to the staff of Washington, D.C.-staff of Western Growers.

Merrill started in his role as federal government affairs analyst in Washington, D.C. on May 13, according to a news release from Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers.

“I’m excited about working on federal agriculture policy to help our agricultural economy stay strong,” Merrill said in the release.

Previously, Merrill served as the environmental program and policy specialist for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. His experience in state and local policy, in addition to his expertise in water issues, make him a valuable addition to the Western Growers Washington D.C staff, according to the release. Merrill joins Western Growers’ existing D.C. staff of Dennis Nuxoll, vice president of federal government affairs and Ken Barbic, senior director of federal government affairs.

With a J.D. from the Vermont Law School, Merrill also has a B.A. in natural resources and a B.S. in hydrology from North Carolina State University, according to the release.

Merrill runs a small buffalo farm in his home state of Pennsylvania, according to the release.