US (MI): Gina Alessandri appointed industrial hemp program director

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell has appointed Gina Alessandri as the state’s Industrial Hemp Program Director effective July 1, 2019.

In this role, Alessandri will work on growing and supporting the current Industrial Hemp Ag Pilot Program launched in April 2019. She will also be fully focused on drafting Michigan’s long-term industrial hemp program for federal approval as well as coordinate many pending policy and educational opportunities related to industrial hemp.

“Gina has been MDARD’s driving force behind the creation and launch of the state’s first-ever industrial hemp program,” said McDowell. “Her knowledge and expertise will be critical to the success of our newest agricultural crop.”

Alessandri previously worked as the department’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division Director. She has been part of the MDARD team for 34 years.

In the interim, Jeff Zimmer has been named as the Acting PPPM Division Director until a permanent replacement is named. MDARD is currently accepting applications and the position is currently posted on the State of Michigan Jobs website.

For more information on the industrial hemp program, visit

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