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P.J. Huffstutter moves from National to Business reporting

January 21, 2010 |  6:15 pm

Here is a memo from Business Editor John Corrigan to the staff about reporter P.J. Huffstutter's new assignment:

After a six-year tour as a national correspondent, P.J. Huffstutter will be rejoining Business on Jan. 25 as a Los Angeles-based reporter focused on the food and agriculture beat.

Most of you know P.J.’s work: covering an eight-state region in the Midwest, she  wrote about two serial killers, three major hurricanes and hundreds of tales about life in America’s heartland.

P.J. first joined the Times’ business staff in Orange County in 1997, where she covered local technology firms and the meteoric rise of Broadcom Corp. She later joined the paper’s technology team in Los Angeles, where she reported on the collapse of the dot-com world and the convergence of technology and Hollywood.

On the food and agriculture beat, P.J. will focus on several key areas – including how climate change and the water wars are threatening farming. She’ll also report on food safety issues, and give us close looks at some of the giant agribusinesses that play such a big role in what we eat. She’s also aiming to provide some interesting takes on food culture.

P.J., by the way, stands for Patricia Jettie. She adopted it for her byline as a cub reporter in Grand Junction, Colo. after she was told “Patricia J. Huffstutter” was too long. As P.J. tells it: “On my first day on the job, the publisher came stomping up to my desk – big belt buckle gleaming, cowboy boots polished to a sheen – and told me, 'Ya gotta change your name.' ”

It’s been P.J. ever since.