Theresa Greenfield to lead rural development in Iowa; Matt Russell as Head of the State Farm Service Agency

President Joe Biden has appointed Theresa Greenfield, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate who lost to incumbent Republican Joni Ernst last year, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural development director for Iowa.

Matt Russell, director of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, a statewide climate action organization, also received a presidential nomination. He will become the executive director of the Iowa office of the Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, which administers credit and loan programs and manages conservation and other initiatives across the state, announced Thursday. the White House.

“Matt Russell and Theresa Greenfield will be strong advocates of family farming and sustainable agriculture here in Iowa,” Aaron Lehman, president of the Iowa Farmers Union, said in a statement.

Theresa Greenfield, then Senate candidate, speaks at the Polk County Democrats’ annual Steak Fry at Water Works Park on September 12, 2020 in Des Moines.

“The challenges facing our farmers and our rural communities are enormous, but I am encouraged that President Biden has chosen two dedicated, experienced and knowledgeable officials” to serve Iowa, said Lehman.

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Greenfield, who grew up on a small farm in Minnesota during the farm crisis of the 1980s, served as president of Colby Interests, a Windsor Heights development company, and also worked as a town planner and planner in Minnesota. The White House said Greenfield’s experience in community development, housing and real estate would help him in his new role.

“She has worked with elected officials and community leaders at all levels of government to create strong and vibrant neighborhoods and hometowns,” the administration said. “She is focused on bringing her professional and personal experiences to the mission of strengthening rural Iowa’s economy.”

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Russell, a fifth-generation farmer from Iowa, grew up on a 1,000-acre commodity and ranching farm and raises and produces cattle with her husband, Patrick Standley, near Lacona. Coyote Run Farm was a stopover for several presidential candidates in the 2019 campaign, including Biden, who was accompanied by his wife, Jill.

Prior to joining Iowa Interfaith Power & Light in 2018, Russell was the Resilient Agriculture Coordinator at the Center for Agricultural Law at Drake University.

Interfaith Power & Light announced Thursday that Irene DeMaris will be the agency’s interim executive director. DeMaris has been the group’s associate director since July 2020.

Greenfield and Russell will work under the direction of US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa taking over the role he held during the Obama administration.

Donnelle Eller covers agriculture, environment and energy for the Registry. Contact her at [email protected] or 515-284-8457.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Biden Appoints Greenfield and Russell as Head of Two Key Iowa USDA Agencies

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