LISBON – A resident of the city has been appointed by President Joseph R. Biden as director of rural development for the United States Department of Agriculture in New York State.
Brian S. Murray, who worked for the USDA for two decades, was appointed director of state in December.
“State directors are basically the chief executive officer in the (respective) states. Boots in the field, every state has one, even US territories, ”Murray said. “The most important thing is to increase equity in rural communities… there shouldn’t be a community in our state that lacks it. My biggest job is to make sure we reach out to these communities. “
He said that some good local examples of USDA’s rural development programs include in the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, where the Rural Development Program worked with the Mohawk St. Regis tribe on their new administrative building, the Center d ‘diabetes excellence and other projects involving water, sewerage, housing and the senior center.
“This is just one example of a community. We do the same for every community, ”said Murray.
He said the program also had recent discussions with the County of St. Lawrence about its study and broadband expansion, and with the village of Potsdam on the 150-year-old underground canal system that features a major flood problem.
“We are truly a partner,” said Murray. It’s a conversation. We don’t tell them what they need, or don’t need, or whatever. It is their community. We show them how we can support them, whether it’s drinking water systems or sewers. We work a lot with the fire services, providing the necessary equipment.
Mr. Murray, originally from Peterboro, started his USDA career in 2002 as a loan specialist in the Canton office, “working with different programs that we have and bringing them to the communities.”
In 2007, he was appointed USDA Regional Director and oversaw offices across the state, “from the southern border (of New York State) to the northern border.”
In 2020 he was appointed associate corporate director, “a deputy state director, if you will.” He was appointed acting director of state during the transition between the Trump and Biden administrations, and was appointed permanent director at the end of 2021.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be appointed by the Biden administration, President Biden and Vice President (Kamala D.) Harris, for this position,” said Murray.
In addition to his time with the USDA, he also served on the St. Lawrence County Planning Council and “he is active in his local fire department as an interior firefighter and team member. rescue, “according to a White House newspaper. press release announcing the appointment of Mr. Murray.