USDA Announces Additional Agricultural and State Rural Development Service Agency Directors

WASHINGTON, December 13, 2021 – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intention to appoint four regional positions in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), including two state executive directors of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and two directors State Rural Development (RD).

“As the USDA continues to positively improve the lives of Americans every day, we welcome these talented individuals to advance our common mission,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “Each of them will join the experienced, dedicated and growing team across the department. “

FSA State Executive Directors oversee the operations of the Farm Service Agency and the implementation of agricultural policy in the state. Each state executive director works with the state committee to administer FSA programs and county office operations, develops and maintains stakeholder relationships with clients and other agencies and governments.

State RD Directors serve as general managers of rural development in the states and territories and are responsible for carrying out the mission of rural development for the benefit of all in rural America. Together with the guidance and support of the national office, state directors are responsible for promoting the mission and strategic objectives of rural development and provide key leadership to develop and support a productive, diverse and diverse public workforce. inclusive.

Agricultural service agency

Jim Barber has been appointed FSA State Executive Director for New York

Jim Barber returns to the ministry as the State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency for New York after serving in the same position for eight years in the Obama administration. During his previous tenure as the New York FSA, Mr. Barber made improvements to the farm loan program by dramatically increasing efficiency throughout the program. Mr. Barber has gone to great lengths to reach out to minority farmers and involve underserved communities in FSA programs, including establishing urban farms in New York City and raising awareness among Native American nations across the state. Mr. Barber is a proud fifth generation family farmer on his family’s highly diverse 500 acre vegetable and greenhouse farm. James graduated from Cornell University.

John Perdue has been appointed FSA State Executive Director for West Virginia

John Perdue comes to the USDA after a long career in public service. Perdue began his career with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture as a pesticide inspector. In 1989 he became executive assistant to former West Virginia Governor Gasston Caperton and was a member of his management team for eight years. In 1996, Mr. Perdue was elected 24e West Virginia State Treasurer and served for six terms. As state treasurer, Mr. Perdue created SMART 529, an education savings plan designed to help West Virginia pay for their education. By the time he left office, SMART 529 had raised more than $ 3 billion, with more than 150,000 West Virgins invested in the program. John graduated from the University of West Virginia where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture.

Rural development

Rhiannon Hampson has been appointed RD Director of State for Maine

Rhiannon Hampson is a committed public servant with a career focused on advocacy and community engagement. Rhiannon grew up in some of Maine’s more rural pockets and proudly represented her state as a representative for agricultural and environmental issues in MP Chellie Pingree’s office. In this role, Hampson deepened his knowledge of Maine’s heritage industries and observed first-hand how the USDA uplifts rural communities. A proud member of a multigenerational military family, Hampson honors its commitment to “be of service” by engaging in efforts to foster greater inclusion for all citizens and enjoys professional engagement in social work for them. adults with intellectual disabilities. Rhiannon graduated from the University of Maine at Machias, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Community Studies.

Kyle Wilkens has been appointed RD Director of State for Missouri

Hailing from rural west-central Missouri, Kyle Wilkens has been the rural policy repertory of Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri since 2012. Prior to joining Representative Cleaver’s office, Wilkens spent nine years working as a member of the Congressman of Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton. Kyle brings extensive knowledge of USDA and its programs and has extensive experience working with elected officials, community leaders, and agencies at all levels of government on local economic development and rural development programs. Wilkens holds a Master of Arts degree from Missouri State University.

To view President Biden’s announcement on his intention to appoint appointees in USDA regions, you can read: President Biden announces key regional appointments for USDA, SBA, EPA and HHS .

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