Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture Ray Starling, a well-known figure in the ag sector who grew up on a North Carolina farm, is moving from the White House to USDA headquarters, an ornate building that looks a little like the White House. Starling will be taking over as USDA Chief Sonny Perdue’s chief of staff, replacing Heidi Green, who is returning home to Georgia.
In other staffing news, USDA has announced its decisions on several leadership roles at USDA for the Food Safety Inspection Service, Agricultural Marketing Service and Farm Service Agency.
FSIS: It was Carmen Rottenberg who stepped up to keep USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service running smoothly when long-time Deputy Under Secretary Al Almanza departed last summer. On Friday USDA announced that she was the choice to fill the agency’s administrator position.
Rottenberg, who has been USDA’s Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety since August, 2017, was instrumental in rolling out FSIS’ New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS) as well as managing the ban on Brazilian beef after severe problems were discovered in imported shipments. Paul Kiecker, who worked his way from food inspector to acting administrator over his long career at FSIS, has been named the agency’s deputy administrator.
“Providing all Americans access to a safe and secure food supply is one of USDA’s critical missions,” said USDA Secretary Perdue. “Carmen and Paul have been instrumental in carrying out this mission and will continue to lead FSIS in their new roles.”
AMS: Bruce Summers worked his way up the USDA food chain over his more than 30 years with the department and on Friday Perdue announced that Summers is his choice to be the next Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service.
FSA: Richard Fordyce is USDA’s choice to be administrator for the Farm Service Agency and his roots in agriculture run deep. He’s a Missouri corn, soybean and beef producer from Harrison County and a former director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
“As a fourth-generation farmer, Richard brings firsthand knowledge and experience to this role,” Perdue said. “I am confident that he will continue to help USDA become the most efficient, effective, customer-focused agency in the federal government as he leads this customer-focused mission area.”
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