Western Growers has named Dennis Nuxoll vice president of federal government affairs.

He is expected to start March 5 at the trade association’s Washington, D.C., office.

Nuxoll succeeds Cathy Enright, who left in October after four years to take a position with the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers also promoted Ken Barbic to senior director of federal government affairs, according to a news release. Barbic, who’s been with the office since 2009, was director of federal government of affairs. He fulfilled Enright’s duties on an interim basis after her departure.

Nuxoll’s previous experience includes serving as senior director of federal policy at the American Farmland Trust.

“Dennis brings a unique perspective and strong skill set as a legislative expert to Western Growers, as well as proven success as a lobbyist,” Tom Nassif, president, said in the release.

Nuxoll has more than 15 years of experience as an attorney, congressional staffer and agricultural lobbyist. That included service as a legislative assistant to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana. He was also an attorney with Stewart and Stewart law offices in Washington, D.C., representing agricultural interests among others.

Western Growers names VP in D.C.Barbic works on issues important to the specialty crop industry in California and Arizona, including immigration reform, international trade, water, health care reform and the Farm Bill.

“This (promotion) is a testament to the good work Ken is doing and has been doing,” Nassif said in the release. “This is a positive step for Western Growers and serves to strengthen our voice and influence in front of the nation’s thought and opinion leaders.”

Western Growers’ members grow fresh fruit and vegetables in Arizona and California.