Ross, who most recently worked as chief of staff to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is the former president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers. She has also worked for the Agricultural Council of California and served on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.
The 59-year-old Democrat's experience in state agriculture industry won her support from Central Valley farmers.
The position, which requires Senate confirmation, pays $172,524.
PHOTO CREDIT: AP file photo of Karen Ross, 2010.