Meet the Cogent Team
Our team combines decades of experience working with agriculture and food production clients, successfully providing media relations and outreach, government and member relations services, and strategic public affairs consulting, with a strong focus on environmental and sustainability issues, including water quality, air quality, climate change, food safety, pesticide use and animal well-being.
J.P. Cativiela | President
For more than 20 years, J.P. Cativiela has been a leader in efforts and programs related to agricultural and food production environmental and sustainability issues in California. From 2001 through 2015, he served as program coordinator for Dairy Cares, a statewide not-for-profit coalition of dairy industry groups with a mission to build and support the long-term environmental and economic sustainability of the California dairy industry. Dairy Cares’ programs include communications, research, environmental compliance assistance, outreach and education to dairy producers, and regulatory and legal affairs. Cativiela continues to serve as a consultant to Dairy Cares on water quality, air quality, endangered species and other sustainability issues.
Cativiela also serves as the administrator of the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP), a not-for-profit organization of more than 1,200 Central Valley dairy and cattle families. Formed in 2010, CVDRMP conducts groundwater monitoring studies at dairy farms, to assess dairy farm protection of groundwater, toward recommending improved practices where needed.
Cativiela’s 30 years of experience with communications, agriculture and the environment also includes several years with the California Rice Industry Association and California Rice Commission, where he specialized in government and member relations pertaining to water and air quality and pesticide use issues. More recently, he has provided grower communications support to the Almond Board of California, specializing in developing content on how growers can achieve environmental and economic sustainability. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Cativiela received awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the California Farm Bureau Federation for his coverage of issues surrounding the interaction between agriculture and the environment. He also received an award from the Columbia School of Journalism for newspaper design while serving as news editor of the Daily Bruin at UCLA, where he was also president of the campus chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi. A native of Pasadena, California, Cativiela graduated from Pasadena’s Blair High School, where he was a National Merit Scholar Semi-Finalist.
James Garner | Vice President & Managing Partner
For more than a decade, James Garner has worked with California farmers, trade organizations, processing cooperatives and companies on issues related to sustainability, such as water quality, animal well-being and greenhouse gases. Garner oversees Cogent’s communications services to ensure successful execution of client projects. He manages creative development, video production, social media, copy writing, media relations and research, and has worked extensively with California dairy and almond clients. Garner also provides communications support for Cogent’s regulatory activities, which provide clients representation before regional and state agencies.
Garner is a past member of the Center for Food Integrity Board of Directors, an organization comprised of stakeholders from across the food community dedicated to building consumer trust and confidence in today’s food system. A native of Hanford, California, he is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he earned a B.S. in Agricultural Science and Education, with a minor in Agribusiness. Garner is a past National FFA Officer and California State FFA President.
Tim Hammerich | Senior Director of Strategic Communications
Tim Hammerich has more than 12 years of agricultural industry experience in communications, recruiting, and commodity risk management. He is the creator and host of “Future of Agriculture,” a weekly podcast about agricultural innovation with more than 700,000 downloads. Hammerich has successfully created podcasts and built digital media brands for agricultural companies, industry trade groups, and research institutions.
In 2015, Hammerich launched AgGrad.com to provide career resources for young professionals in the agriculture industry, and offer recruitment services to agribusinesses. He worked directly with clients across the industry to design outreach strategies, build talent pipelines, and strengthen employer brands. He led AgGrad to launch agriculture’s first “30 Under 30” which highlights early-career talent in the industry through social media, blog posts, videos, podcasts, and an annual print publication.
Hammerich is a radio personality for the Ag Information Network, where he reports for “California Ag Today” and “Southeast Regional Ag News” segments. A native of Fulton, California, he is a graduate of the University of California, Davis with a bachelor’s degree in Crop Science and Management. Hammerich is a former National FFA President.
Jaime Hammerich, DVM | Communications Specialist
For the past three years, Hammerich has been responsible for managing social media campaigns and developing content for veterinary clinics and agricultural companies. Her experience has included podcast production, presentation development, video editing, and content design.
Hammerich studied biology at the University of California Davis, and then went on to earn her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M in 2010. She practiced veterinary medicine for seven years where she had the privilege of working in both large and small animal clinics as well as in both urban and rural settings.
After having two children, she decided to shift her career focus away from veterinary practice to allow for more flexibility at home. Outside of work, her hobbies include horseback riding, hiking, quilting and chasing after her two wonderful kids.
Mandi Bottoms | Communications Developer
Mandi has spent the past 14 years partnering with leaders in the agriculture industry to create educational content for a wide range of audiences. With a B.S. in Agriculture Science and Education and a M.S. in Agriculture Science, Mandi is passionate about developing engaging content that inspires appreciation for the agriculture industry. Through her work with the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, Mandi has contributed to numerous educational projects serving industry trade groups, including the California Beef Council, National Auctioneers Association, U.S. Poultry Association, California Milk Advisory Board, California Grown, California Table Grape Commission, and many more. She has partnered with CDFA, former First Lady Maria Shriver, USDA-NIFA, and National 4-H to develop outreach programs and educational materials.
Mandi and her husband Tom spent four years managing a non-profit school and farm in Eswatini, Southern Africa. Today, with their three daughters in tow, they farm almonds, walnuts, processing tomatoes, bell peppers, sunflowers, watermelons, and sweet corn just outside of Davis, California.