USDA announces additional Farm Service Agency and Rural Development state directors
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced additional regional positions, including three Farm Service Agency State Executive Directors and two Rural Development state directors.
“We are grateful to have these five individuals serving in these roles at USDA,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “With diverse skills and experiences, each will be an important representative of USDA in their states as we work to improve the lives of the American people and build a better America.”
FSA state executive directors oversee Farm Service Agency operations and agricultural policy implementation 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 customers and other agencies and governments.
RD state directors serve as the chief executive officer of Rural Development in the states and territories and are tasked with carrying out the mission of Rural Development to the benefit of everyone in rural America. In conjunction with the guidance and support of the National Office, state directors are responsible for promoting the mission and strategic goals of Rural Development and provide key leadership to develop and support a productive, diverse, and inclusive state workforce.
Here are the news state executive directors in The Fence Post readership area:
Joseph Aull has been appointed FSA state executive director for Missouri
Aull is a lifelong Missourian with a dedicated history of public service. He currently serves as mayor of Lexington, Mo. Aull worked in Missouri’s public school system for 34 years, serving as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent. In 1992, he received the Pearce Award for an outstanding school superintendent in Missouri. After retiring from public education, Aull was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, where he served for a total of eight years. During his time in the House, he was the Ranking Member of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, and he served all eight years as a member of the House Agriculture Policy Committee.
John Berge has been appointed FSA state executive director for Nebraska
A western Nebraska native who grew up on a corn and wheat farm, Berge has served as the general manager of the North Platte Natural Resources District in Scottsbluff, Neb., since 2013. He returns to USDA after serving in a number of positions from 2009 to 2013. In 2009, Berge was appointed White House liaison to the Department of Agriculture. He was later appointed deputy and acting assistant secretary for congressional relations, the deputy administrator for field operations at FSA, and the executive director of the National Food and Agriculture Council at USDA. Before joining USDA, he served as the executive director of the Western Nebraska Community College Foundation and on the staffs of Sens. Jim Exon, Bob Kerrey and Ben Nelson. Berge is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha and holds a Certificate in Climate Change and Energy from the Harvard Kennedy School. A current student in the Masters of Applied Science program in Environmental Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he resides in Gering, Neb.
Karol Fike, Kansas State University teaching associate professor, was recognized as the 2022 College of Ag Advisor of the Year.
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