Amplifying Rural Voices

We translate meaningful messages from rural audiences to urban audiences and back again.

Demystifying Bureaucracy

Government is complicated, but we get to the parts that matter.

Fostering Connections

By cutting through the differences that divide, we set the stage for conversations that make change.

Moving Families Forward

We meet people where they are, so regular people have what they need to thrive.

At Caprock Strategies, LLC, we build strategies for lasting change so regular people can thrive.

We do that by fostering connections that break down barriers, elevating the commonality in our lived experience, and smoothing the complicated pathways that separate regular people from the help they need the most.

Caprock Strategies Who We Are

Who We Are

Caprock Strategies is a family company. Our roots are planted in West Texas, and they reach across the country. We’ve worked in big places and small ones, and experience tells us that the unifying thread is our common human experience. Our work translates government to private industry, rural to urban, and back again. We believe that government, business and organizations function best when they’re drawing from diverse perspectives, so we aim to introduce a range of unique voices to every conversation.

Our Leadership

Leadership Brandon Lipps Caprock

Brandon Lipps

Co-founder & Principal

Brandon Lipps | Co-founder & Principal

Brandon is a West Texas native, former USDA deputy undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, and co-founder of Caprock Strategies. He also currently serves as a board member of the Midwest Food Bank. In his USDA role, Brandon oversaw a $100 billion budget and thousands of employees, serving as the nation’s chief policymaker overseeing 15 domestic anti-hunger programs, including food stamps, WIC, school meals, and the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations. Brandon also oversaw the writing of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Prior to this role, Brandon served as chief of staff to the chancellor of the Texas Tech University System during a period of intense growth, as senior professional staff for the House Committee on Agriculture, and has deep experience in the private sector and the Texas legislature. His unique experiences both inside and outside of Washington, D.C., as well as his work in agriculture, food, and poverty alleviation policy, allow him to leverage expansive and diverse experiences and a network of policymakers, stakeholders, and industry experts. He is both personally and professionally passionate about relationally driven communities that foster real and lasting change.

Leadership Hannah Lipps Caprock

Hannah Lipps

Co-founder & Principal

Hannah Lipps | Co-founder & Principal

Deep roots in the Texas Panhandle and the agriculture industry allow Hannah to translate effective, meaningful messages from urban audiences to rural and back again. Prior to founding Caprock Strategies, Hannah worked in multiple capacities for national commodity groups, higher education institutions, and in philanthropic giving, living out her mantra: words matter. Her recent work includes a wide-reaching effort to tailor and distribute reliable information about COVID-19 vaccines for rural audiences. She previously directed a highly successful nationwide referendum on a critical farmer-funded support program and led major change for a philanthropic organization aiming to overhaul its business model.

With more than 15 years of experience across educational institutions, private businesses, and nonprofits, Hannah draws on both her upbringing and professional career to develop messaging and implement strategies that reach the heart of an issue. She is passionate about building unity across diverse experiences and believes that if we listen to one another, we’ll find that more unites than divides us.

Leadership Sam Webb Caprock

Sam Webb

Strategic Counsel

Sam Webb | Strategic Counsel

After a stint in Washington, D.C., working on economic development, tax, and international trade matters, Sam established a law practice in the Houston area. His broad network stretches around the globe, and he offers Caprock Strategies clients strategic counsel, particularly on international and trade issues, to help further our mission of lasting change for regular people. Sam is a graduate of Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University School of Law.

Caprock Strategies What We Do

What We Do

  • Food: Caprock Strategies strives to demystify bureaucracies. With experiences at both the state and federal levels, we can help organizations navigate these institutions and connect with stakeholders to best reach and serve their consumers.
  • Agriculture and Rural: With decades of combined experience in the agriculture space, Caprock Strategies recognizes the unique challenges and opportunities facing the agriculture industry and the communities that rely upon it and seeks to foster connections that elevate some of the country’s best—our farmers and ranchers.
  • Poverty Alleviation: We are invested in a whole-person approach to poverty alleviation that meets people where they are, with what they need most, so families can thrive.

How We Do It

  • Strategy Development

    We build strategies that solve big problems so regular people can thrive. Drawing on decades of combined experience in the food, agriculture, and poverty alleviation spaces allows Caprock Strategies to leverage an extensive network and knowledge base.

  • Professional Counseling

    With experience stretching from the highest levels of government to the red dirt of West Texas, we know a person or two—Caprock Strategies can put you in touch with the right people to help your organization connect with its audience.

  • Unique Positioning

    We have a unique network, a deep understanding of the issues, and dirt under our fingernails. We understand how food systems function, the role of agriculture in everyday life, and how those interact to impact issues of poverty, health, community, and place. We are unique because our work is woven into who we are and what we do, both inside and outside of our business.

  • Industry Expertise

    Our namesake, the Caprock of West Texas, instilled in us a deep appreciation for what it takes to put a meal on the table from the very beginning. We have extended that lived experience through our professional careers, spanning the Legislative and Executive branches, private industry, nonprofits, philanthropy, and higher education. We can speak from both personal and professional experience, providing thoughtful advice to set your organization on the course to success.

Our Impact

"Caprock Strategies brought an authentic, human and unifying creative approach to reach rural Americans with lifesaving information on our Vaccine Education Campaign. This was the biggest campaign in Ad Council history, garnering more than $250 million dollars donated with more than 300 partners. Their insightful threading of the needle and their deep partnership engagement approach were critical to our success and, more importantly, helped save lives."

Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Officer
Ad Council

"It has been a pleasure working with Caprock Strategies over the last year. They have been extremely professional, and we are very pleased with their thorough analysis and strategic direction on a long-term strategy for sorghum in school meals."

Tim Lust, CEO
United Sorghum Checkoff Program

"Our mission and scope are one of the most unique in agriculture and humanitarian relief. In this highly regulated environment, we could not be more pleased and honored to be associated with Caprock Strategies and its leadership. We highly value our relationship with Caprock Strategies."

Bill Miller, CEO
Breedlove Foods, Inc.

Client Project Examples

  • For a food logistics provider:

    Caprock Strategies developed and implemented an ongoing strategy to gain and maintain federal government contracts, facilitated the expertise necessary to provide quality nutrition products and services to partners, and facilitated relationships across the agriculture sector to source new products for domestic and export use.

  • For the nation’s oldest and most respected public service advertising agency:

    Caprock Strategies developed and implemented a communications and creative strategy to provide reliable COVID vaccine information specifically tailored to reach rural communities.

  • For an up-and-coming food crop:

    Caprock Strategies developed a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, five-year plan for entering into the federal school nutrition program marketplace. 

The Latest From Us

How the baby formula shortage links back to a federal nutrition program

How the baby formula shortage links back to a federal nutrition program

May 19, 2022
 

Brandon Lipps, a former Trump administration USDA official, helped lead WIC and other nutrition programs through the pandemic and the economic fallout — when families especially leaned on WIC for their children’s nutrition.

“WIC is an extremely critical program for making sure that all moms and children have access to adequate nutrition and, really, that they get a healthy start in life. I think folks on both sides of the aisle recognize that,” Lipps said.

Lipps added the current bipartisan bill gives needed and limited flexibility to future administrations dealing with crises like the current recall and shortages. He noted there is no quick political or policy fix for issues surrounding the state contracts’ sole-sourcing provisions and said the “finger pointing” in Congress is “a distraction.”

“When you get outside of this bipartisan bill, you see lots of movement in lots of different directions,” Lipps said. “As lawmakers pivot to talk about ways they can improve WIC, I think there’s a lot of time in the months ahead for them to sit down at the table together to deeply understand the issues and to work through opportunities as they move forward.”

Read the full article HERE.
Kindly Faces, Plastic Trays And Servings Of Sorghum

Kindly Faces, Plastic Trays And Servings Of Sorghum

April 5, 2022
 

Every day, public school children across America line up and move through carefully orchestrated lines and collect trays of colorful, nutritious food to fill their tummies and prepare them for a day’s learning and play. Before sunrise, in almost 100,000 U.S. schools, dedicated food service personnel prepare to serve 15 million breakfasts and 30 million lunches to the bright little faces that move through their lines.

While we may recall fond memories of the grandmas who dished up our peas and carrots at lunch, behind those kindly faces, hair nets and scoops of mashed potatoes is a complex web of federal regulation that determines which foods make their way onto the lunch tables of America’s school children. These 5 billion lunches and 2.5 billion breakfasts every year represent a production cost of $25 billion annually. Or, once discounted for labor and infrastructure costs, about $1 billion per month on food alone.

In this vast market of U.S. government food programs, sorghum has the opportunity to fill critical roles as a nutritionally rich, low-cost alternative to widely consumed grains and proteins. Last year, the United Sorghum Checkoff Program zeroed in on a strategy to move sorghum into the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and onto the lunch and breakfast trays of millions of American schoolchildren.

For an emerging food crop like sorghum, the market opportunity is vast, but so is the underlying policy that determines which foods work their way onto those sturdy plastic trays. In order for the federal government to reimburse schools for the meals they serve, the components of that meal must fit a complex matrix of nutritional data that requires school food service providers to average nutrients over the course of a week.

With that in mind, the Sorghum Checkoff developed a comprehensive five-year plan for moving sorghum into school meals.

The plan includes multi-front approaches to familiarize school nutrition leaders with how to prepare and serve sorghum, plans to help students get familiar with a new food item on their plate, plans for school foodservice providers to offer sorghum to their customers, and the proper presentation for critical nutrition information.

But a critical problem presented itself almost immediately. USDA’s Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs, which serves as the go-to resource when deciding what foods will be reimbursed, does not currently include sorghum, making it difficult for school meals directors to add it to their menus.

National Sorghum Producers stepped in and USDA has recently committed to updating the USDA Food Buying Guide to include sorghum products. In the interim, USDA has approved school nutrition administrators to use a similar product as a nutritional stand-in for menu planning and food purchasing needs.

This means that as the Sorghum Checkoff works to implement its comprehensive plan for school nutrition programming, schools already have a mechanism to add sorghum to their menus. The Kansas State Department of Education has been proactive on this front, informing their school nutrition directors of the new guidance and offering a webinar to highlight a host of school-friendly sorghum-based recipes.

Read the article here.
Agri-Pulse Panel - White House Conference on Nutrition, Hunger, and Health

Agri-Pulse Panel - White House Conference on Nutrition, Hunger, and Health

March 25, 2022
 

Brandon joins Agri-Pulse Newsmakers Panel to discuss upcoming conference

Caprock Strategies’ Principal, Brandon Lipps, was recently invited to provide perspective regarding the upcoming White House Conference on Nutrition, Hunger, and Health.

“Throughout my time leading the Food and Nutrition Service, the best part of my job was traveling America to hear stories of change from organizations like Covenant House and Hope Inspired Ministries,” said Brandon. “These organizations, and many like them, are wholistically serving families in need in their local communities.”

Ideally, this conference will serve as an apolitical avenue for policymakers to move families forward by connecting with the individuals and organizations who are producing change on a local level.

Watch the interview here!
Caprock Strategies Announces Expansion

Caprock Strategies Announces Expansion

April 5, 2022
 

Caprock Strategies is pleased to announce the expansion of its business on multiple fronts,

including the addition of a full-time associate director, an affiliation with strategic counsel, and

the launch of its website.

 

With roots in rural West Texas, Associate Director Lacy Jackson joins co-founders Brandon and

Hannah Lipps on the Caprock Strategies team as a recent graduate of Texas Tech University’s

nationally recognized agricultural communications program. During her time at Texas Tech,

Jackson honed her skills in communications and project management through internships for

numerous agricultural organizations and businesses, and most recently, served as an intern on

Capitol Hill as part of Texas Tech’s Congressional Internship Program.

 

“As we build a business model that can deliver unparalleled client service alongside deep

engagement on important issues, we’re thrilled to add Lacy’s enthusiasm and talent to our

Caprock Strategies team,” said Hannah. “Her passion for building bridges across diverse

communities and her educational and life experiences both lend fresh new perspectives to our

work.”

 

With my professional background existing at the intersection of policy and agriculture, I could not

imagine a better fit,” said Lacy, “and I am thrilled to join the Caprock Strategies team to continue

fostering connection across industries.”

 

In addition to adding Jackson to the team, Caprock Strategies is also pleased to announce a

partnership with Houston-based attorney, Sam Webb, in which Webb offers Caprock Strategies’

clients strategic counsel, particularly on economic and trade issues, to help further the mission

of fostering lasting change through economic empowerment around the world.

 

“Over the past year, Sam has proven himself a trusted advisor, unparalleled connector, and a

critical member of the Caprock Strategies team,” said Brandon. “We are pleased to formalize

this alliance, expanding our footprint into the middle of the country as we work to move families

forward and offer lasting solutions for some of our country’s most complex problems.”

 

“Caprock’s mission is to demystify bureaucracy, to translate government to private industry, and

foster connections between rural and urban communities,” said Sam. “I am proud to join the

Caprock team – leaders in government and public affairs – to offer strategic counsel to Caprock

clients.”

 

Furthering Caprock Strategies’ expansion is its website launch, accomplished with the help of

the Cassandra Bryan Design team. The site offers visitors insight into the people, mission, and

methods that propel Caprock Strategies and can be found at www.caprockstrategies.com.

 

About Caprock Strategies

Established in 2021 by Brandon Lipps, former Deputy Under Secretary at USDA’s Food and

Nutrition Service, and Hannah Lipps, who holds more than 15 years of experience across

disciplines in communications, education and agriculture, Caprock Strategies is a boutique

consulting firm that delivers strategies to solve big problems in the food, agriculture, and poverty

alleviation sectors. Caprock Strategies works to translate government to private industry, rural to

urban and back again, building strategies designed to create lasting change for clients across a

range of sectors.

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