USDA Announces Appointment of Additional Directors of the Agricultural Services and Rural Development Agency
WASHINGTON, June 23, 2022 – Today, President Joe Biden announced plans to appoint five regional positions to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), including three State Executive Directors of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and two State Directors rural development (RD).
“Here at USDA, we continue to add experienced and talented people to our state offices,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I have full confidence that each of these individuals will add knowledge and leadership to the Department’s dedicated team.
The state executive directors of the FSA 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 the general manager 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. With guidance and support from the National Office, State Directors are responsible for promoting the rural development mission and strategic goals and providing key leadership to develop and support a productive state workforce. , diverse and inclusive.
Farm service agency:
Ronald Guidry, Jr. to be named FSA State Executive Director for Louisiana
A native of New Orleans, Ronald C. Guidry Jr. was born and raised in the neighborhood of Algiers, along the west bank of the Mississippi River. Since 2018, Guidry has served as an advisor to the county committee of the USDA Farm Service Agency, which serves several parishes in southeastern Louisiana. As an advisor to the committee, Ronald used his unique perspective to make informed policy decisions and ensure the timely implementation and administration of federal agricultural programs. Ronald is the owner and operator of Farm Dat, a USDA Class B certified farm, which focuses on raising and selling farm animals. Guidry is a proud alumnus of St. Augustine High School and Dillard University.
Mark Gibbons to be named FSA state executive director for Utah
Mark Gibbons is a third-generation dairy farmer from Lewiston, Utah. His family operates a 1200 acre farm where they milk approximately 700 cows daily. Prior to being named state executive director, Mark served as executive director of the Utah State Farm Service Agency, president of the Utah Farmers Union, president of the Dairy Producers of Utah, chairman of the Governors Agriculture Advisory Board, vice- president of the Western States Dairy Producers Trade Association, board member of the Utah State FFA Foundation, and member of several other agriculture-related committees. Gibbons lives in Lewiston with his wife Shanna. The couple have three sons, three daughters-in-law and eleven grandchildren.
Maureen Wicks to be named FSA state executive director for Montana
Maureen Wicks has spent over 30 years working for and representing farmers in Montana. From 1985 to 1995, Maureen was involved with WIFE (Women Involved in Farm Economics) and served as chair of the Hi-Line chapter. In 1998, Wicks became the first woman elected to the Liberty County Farm Services Administration, where she served for 16 years. In 2014, Maureen was elected Liberty County Commissioner and was recently re-elected in 2021. In addition to her job, Wicks is also a dryland wheat farmer and a member of the Montana Grain Growers and Montana Farmer’s Union. Maureen holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Montana State University. Maureen is also a former teacher, teaching both government and social studies for over 15 years in school districts in Montana.
Christy Davis will be named RD State Director in Kansas
Christy Cauble Davis is a fifth-generation Kansan who has dedicated her career to serving and strengthening Kansas communities. For more than two decades, Davis has facilitated statewide projects and programs that have generated billions of dollars in economic impact. She served as Legislative President of the Kansas Downtown Development Association and a member of the Chase County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Most recently, Davis served as executive director of Symphony in Flint Hills. In keeping with her passion for building communities, in 2016 Christy and her husband Luke adopted a historic building in Cottonwood Falls and turned it into an award-winning laundromat. In 2019, the couple rehabilitated a historic bank building to create new accommodation and a bookstore. When she’s not working, Davis enjoys participating in community events, hiking, swimming, reading and spending time with her 10-year-old son.
Lillian Salerno to be named RD State Director in Texas
Lillian Salerno returns to USDA as State RD Director in Texas with more than two decades of experience leading teams in government and industry. Prior to her current appointment, Salerno served in the Obama-Biden administration for six years, first as rural affairs administrator and then as deputy assistant secretary for rural development. As Deputy Assistant Secretary, Lillian was a member of the White House Rural Council, where she spoke out for rural Americans and their concerns about economic development, innovation, entrepreneurship, and access to capital for new and beginning farmers. Lillian has a long history of advocating for and protecting vulnerable populations. As a young attorney, Salerno was regularly assigned as court-appointed counsel for the only vulnerable, Spanish-speaking Texans in need of an attorney. Her work experience has made her an advocate for providing resources based on community needs. Lillian holds a BA in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, an MA in Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas, and a Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University. She is also a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program offered by Harvard University.
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