Perdue announces administrators, aide in Rome |

Perdue announces administrators, aide in Rome

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday appointed Ken Isley as Foreign Agricultural Service administrator, Joel Baxley as Rural Housing Service administrator, and Martin Barbre as Risk Management Agency administrator.

Perdue also announced the appointment of Tommie Williams as minister-counselor for agriculture at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.

Ken Isley, the new FAS administrator, most recently served as special adviser for Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont. For the previous five years, he served as vice president, general counsel and secretary of Dow AgroSciences, and was a member of Dow AgroSciences’ Corporate Management Committee.

Isley was also associate general counsel of Dow, with oversight of Dow’s Latin America Legal group. He spent nearly 29 years at Dow, beginning his career with the firm in 1989.

Isley is a member of the Indiana Bar Association, Michigan Bar Association (inactive), and the American Corporate Counsel Association.

Baxley, the new RHS administrator, has 23 years of real estate finance experience, including 13 years providing valuations of complex property types.

He most recently served as the consulting services director and the senior real estate technical consultant with RSM US LLP’s Financial Advisory Services consulting practice.

Baxley holds an undergraduate degree and MBA from the University of Alabama and two post-graduate degrees from the University of Oxford.

Barbre, the new RMA administrator, owns and operates Chestin Farms in Carmi, Ill., and grows 6,000 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, grain sorghum, and alfalfa, as well as specialty crops.

He is a past president of the National Corn Growers Association corn board and a member of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, having served on the board of directors from 1995 to 2006.

Barbre served as vice president of the ICGA in 2003 and president in 2004

He graduated from Southeastern Illinois College in 1974 with a degree in agriculture business.

Williams, the new U.N. minister-counselor in Rome, began his career as an onion farmer in Toombs County, Ga., and later founded several successful businesses, including marketing native pine straw and growing olives on a 30-acre farm.

He has worked in Italy, China, Belize and Israel. Williams was elected to the Georgia state senate in 1998, eventually rising to the ranks of majority leader and president pro tempore before retiring in 2006.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in education from Georgia Southern University.

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