Nov. 6, 2017
Source: USDA news release
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a slate of Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Rural Development (RD) State Directors, all serving as appointees of President Donald J. Trump. FSA State Directors help implement U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policies in planning, organizing, and administering FSA programs in their respective states. They are also responsible for running the day-to-day activities of the state FSA office. Similarly, RD State Directors work to help improve the economy and quality of life in rural America.
"These state directors will help ensure that USDA is offering the best customer service to our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and agricultural producers across the country," Secretary Perdue said. "FSA and RD both play a critical role in helping the people of agriculture, and are able to connect with people in their home states. They are the initial points of contact for millions of our USDA customers. Our goal is to help rural America prosper, and these state leaders will be of great assistance in that task."
The following is a list of State Directors Perdue released today:
FSA State Directors:
Alabama: David McCurdy
David McCurdy began his career with USDA in 1987 and has served in various roles throughout the Farm Service Agency. A third generation farmer, David raises cattle, farms soy beans and corn, and also maintains a small timber operation.
Alaska: Bryan Scoresby
Bryan Scoresby began his career with the USDA in 1987 and came to Alaska in 1992 to serve the industry as District Director of the Farm Service Agency.
Arkansas: David Curtis
David Curtis has worked the past 34 years for Farm Service Agency, serving as the County Director with loan approval authority in North Central Arkansas.
California: Aubrey Bettencourt
Aubrey Bettencourt is a third-generation California farmer, who not only brings to the USDA her farming experience but has also served as the Executive Director of the California Water Alliance while helping farmers meet for a clean, reliable water supply.
Colorado: Clarice Navarro
Clarice Navarro was elected to the Colorado State House of Representatives in 2012 and has been a strong advocate for the agricultural community during her time as a legislator.
Connecticut: Clark Chapin
Clark Chapin earned the respect of the agriculture community through his 16 years as a state legislator before becoming Project Director for Working Lands Alliance, a project of American Farmland Trust.
Florida: Neil Combee
Neil Combee currently serves in the Florida House of Representatives and previously served on the Board of Southwest Florida Water Management District and was a Polk County Commissioner.
Georgia: Tas Smith
Tas Smith has been employed at the Georgia Farm Bureau Federation since 2005, with a focus on working with farmers across Georgia to positively shape federal farm policy.
Hawaii: Allen Frenzel
Allen (Al) Frenzel is a logistics management professional who previously worked for Defense Logistics Agency on the United States Pacific Command staff after retiring as an Army Colonel with 27 years of active service.
Idaho: Evan Frasure
Evan S. Frasure, Jr. currently serves as a commissioner for Bannock County, Idaho and has an extensive background in business.
Illinois: William J. Graff
William Graff is a former State Executive Director of the Illinois Farm Service Agency.
Indiana: Steve Brown
Steve Brown is a former USDA employee with 32 years of experience in Porter County, Carroll County, and the Indiana State Farm Service Agency Office, in addition to 30 years of working on his family farm.
Iowa: Amanda De Jong
Amanda De Jong most recently held the position of Senior Policy Advisor at the Iowa Corn Growers Association and she has also served in prior roles with U.S. Senator Charles Grassley and the USDA.
Kansas: David Schemm
David Schemm has served as President of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and President of National Association of Wheat Growers.
Kentucky: Brian Lacefield
Brian Lacefield served most recently as the Market President of FNB Bank and currently serves as a board member for the Kentucky Corn Growers, Kentucky FFA Foundation, and the Kentucky Ag Leadership Program.
Louisiana: Craig McCain
Craig McCain is a career FSA employee with over 30 years of service to Louisiana agriculture, serving on numerous task forces responsible for writing FSA policy and developing software applications.
Maine: Dave Lavway
Dave Lavway served in Deputy Commissioner positions with the State of Maine for the Departments of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry and Administrative and Financial Services, all in addition to his work with the Maine Potato Board, National Potato Council, and Maine Farm Service Agency.
Maryland: Jim Eichhorst
Jim Eichhorst was an appointee at USDA under the George W. Bush Administration and currently serves as Deputy Secretary for the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
Michigan: Joel Johnson
Joel Johnson served in the Michigan House of Representatives in 2010 where he advocated for the agricultural producers of Michigan.
Minnesota: Joe Martin
Joe Martin has served the Minnesota and American Farm Bureau Federations and also as the Assistant Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. He lives in LeSueur County where he and his wife Staci run a small cattle operation.
Mississippi: Bobby Carson
Bobby Carson has worked with the National Cotton Council and served as President and Chairman of Cotton Incorporated and the Cotton Foundation, before also serving on the Mississippi FSA State Committee from 2003 thru 2008.
Missouri: Richard Fordyce
Richard Fordyce has served as the Missouri Director of Agriculture, and also on the United Soybean Board and Missouri's Soil & Water Districts Commission.
Nebraska: Nancy Johner
Nancy Johner comes to the USDA with over 25 years of senior executive leadership in county, state and federal government as well as the private sector.
Nevada - Janice Kolvet
Janice Kolvet started her career for the USDA over twenty years ago in positions both in Nevada and in Washington, DC at the Farm Service Agency and returns from Washington to serving the farmers and ranchers of Nevada.
New Hampshire: Jeffrey Holmes
Jeff Holmes is a fifth generation dairy farmer and brings 32 years of farm experience to serve the USDA, along with the experience of having served as the President of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau.
New Jersey: Barry Calogero
Barry Calogero brings over 30 years' finance experience across various domestic and international operations.
New York: Clark Putman
Clark Putman brings over 20 years' experience as a dairy farmer along with 29 years of experience serving as a career civil servant with the Farm Service Agency.
North Carolina: Len McBride
Len McBride began his career with the Farm Service Agency 32 years ago and prior to his appointment he served as a District Director for the FSA based in Statesville, NC.
North Dakota: Brad Thykeson
Brad Thykeson has been an owner and operator of a farming operation in Barnes and Steele County for 33 years, is the owner of a commercial trucking business, and serves on both the National Wheat Growers Board and the American Farm Bureau Wheat Advisory Committee.
Ohio: Leonard Hubert
Leonard Hubert served as the Director of External Affairs & Economic Opportunity in Ohio Governor John Kasich's Office and also as the Chairman of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
Oklahoma: Scott Biggs
Scott Biggs is currently a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives and is well known in the Oklahoma agricultural community for his work to enhance agriculture in the state.
Oregon: Peggy Browne
Peggy Browne comes to the USDA from rural eastern Oregon and brings experience from the agriculture and ecology consulting industry for the last 16 years in the Pacific Northwest and a wealth of knowledge as a USDA program user, program consultant, small business owner, and ecologist.
Pennsylvania: Gary Groves
Gary Groves returns to the USDA having previously served as the State Director for Rural Development in Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Purdue University School of Agriculture, lives on a farm in Wyoming County and raises Belgian Draft Horses.
South Carolina: Boone Peeler
Boone Peeler is the Vice President of Harvey Peeler's Farm, Inc., has been a member of Gaffney, SC city council since 2006, and has worked at the South Carolina Health and Human Services Department.
South Dakota: Paul Shubeck
Paul Shubeck has dedicated his life to agriculture, was instrumental in generating the Wetland CRP Pilot Program in South Dakota and currently hosts an agricultural radio program for the South Dakota Farm Bureau.
Tennessee: Dennis Beavers
Dennis Beavers brings business experience in the insurance industry, and experience serving on various boards and commissions in both Tennessee and Alabama to serve the USDA and the farmers of Tennessee.
Texas: Gary Six
Gary Six has been employed by USDA for the past 40 years, while also serving the last 32 years as County Executive Director of Yoakum County.
Utah: Bruce Richeson
Bruce Richeson returns to service at the USDA having previously served as the Utah FSA State Executive Director from 2006 to 2009.
Vermont: Wendy Wilton
Wendy Wilton has served the City of Rutland, VT as Treasurer, Tax Collector, and Pension Administrator for the past 10 years and also served on the Education, Judiciary and Agriculture standing committee in the Vermont General Assembly.
Virginia: Nivin Elgohary
Nivin Elgohary has served Rural America since she arrived in 1999 at USDA's Rural Utilities Service and most recently she served as Senior Vice President - Electric, Water, and Community Facilities at CoBank, a national cooperative bank serving America's rural infrastructure needs.