2022 ACE Summit

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jewel Bronaugh

Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh was appointed the 16th Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in 2018 by Governor Ralph Northam. She previously served as the Virginia State Executive Director for the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe and then-U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, in July 2015. Prior to her FSA appointment, she served as Dean of the College of Agriculture at Virginia State University (VSU) with oversight of Extension, Research and Academic Programs. Previously she was the Associate Administrator for Extension Programs and a 4-H Extension Specialist.

In spring 2019, Dr. Bronaugh launched the Virginia Farmer Stress Task Force to raise awareness and coordinate resources to address farmer stress and mental health challenges in Virginia. In the fall of 2020, she helped establish the Virginia Food Access Investment Fund and Program, the first statewide program of its kind to address food access within historically marginalized communities.

Dr. Bronaugh received her Ph.D. in Career and Technical Education from Virginia Tech. She is passionate about the advancement of youth leadership in agriculture. Dr. Bronaugh is from Petersburg, Virginia. She is married to Cleavon, a retired United States Army Veteran.


Dr. Silke Boger

Since October 2021, Dr. Silke Boger has held the position of Counsellor for Agriculture at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States of America. Between 2016 and 2021, she led the Market Unit responsible for Arable Crops and Olive Oil in Directorate-General of Agriculture and Rural Development at the European Commission in Brussels. In this capacity, she has managed the economics of the various agricultural markets, as well as the implementation of regular and exceptional EU market measures.

Previously, Silke worked in DG Human Resources and Security, initially in career policy design, then in central coordination, and, in her last position, as Head of HR serving a Directorate-General with 850 staff.

Before joining the Commission, Silke worked in agricultural policy-making at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Germany. She was involved in policy analysis and negotiations and, as Assistant to the State Secretary of the German Agricultural Ministry, contributed to various EU agricultural policies reforms/initiatives.

Silke holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics.


Larissa Martinez

Larissa Martinez is a seasoned political strategist and advisor on women's leadership in the public sector. With close to 20 years of political and policy experience, she has a proven track record of delivering winning, multifaceted strategies for candidates, elected officials, corporations, and associations at all levels of government. Larissa started her career on Capitol Hill working on a multitude of policy issues for U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, Chuck Hagel and U.S. Congressman Nathan Deal.  To increase her knowledge of the campaign process, Larissa entered the political world working on campaigns at every level, from city council to President, and mostly for women candidates. Following her role as Deputy Campaign Manager for U.S. Senator Deb Fischer in her first run, she returned to Hill as the Senator's Senior Advisor before entering the private sector as a multi-client lobbyist for the woman-owned firm, Invariant, working on a number of corporate and association clients. In 2019, after years of seeing the need for a support network for center-right women looking to enter public office, Larissa founded Women's Public Leadership Network (WPLN) and currently serves as its President & CEO.  She was also a founding member of ReflectUS, a cross-partisan coalition of the leading national women's training organizations. 

Larissa has her MPA from the University of Southern California and BAs in Political Science and History from the University of Georgia.  She currently lives in Alexandria, VA. 



Isabella Chism was elected chair of the American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee in January 2021. Prior to that she was elected as vice chair in 2015 and reelected in January 2017. She served for seven years as the Midwest Region Representative, being first elected to the AFBWLC in 2008.

Isabella also represents American Farm Bureau on the Agriculture Council of America (ACA) which coordinates the annual National Agriculture Day celebration in Washington, D.C. and around the country. In addition, she serves as second vice president of Indiana Farm Bureau, on the board of directors of IFB and affiliated companies, including Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. She is a member of the executive committee and chairs the state Women’s Leadership Committee.

She and her husband, Kent, farm in Howard County, Indiana, raising corn, soybeans, and sweet corn. They have three children that are married with children of their own. One of their daughters came back to the farm with her husband and they farm with the family.