Vernon Highley

Vern Highley began his career in agriculture marketing and later joined the USDA where he became the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Agriculture and later served as the Deputy Chief of Staff. He returned to to the private sector in 1975 to join the Plains Cotton Cooperative Association in Lubbock, Texas.

In 1982, Vern was persuaded to return to Washington to serve as Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service. He went on to become Executive Director of the Farmers and Ranchers organization for the Reagan-Bush and Bush-Quayle Presidential Campaigns. 

Vern went on to head USDA operations in the Western states and the Pacific Trust Territories before opening his own firm, Highly Associates. He represented various organizations including the Cotton Growers Warehouse Association, National Watermelon Association, Imperial County California, and the Imperial Valley Conservation Research Center. Highly Associates, a federal relations firms founded in 1985, relocated from Washington to Fresno, California in 2000.

Vern was honored twice with the National Watermelon Association's Outstanding Service Award.