Bette Brand has been appointed as the administrator of Rural Development’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS), according to Anne Hazlett, USDA’s assistant to the secretary for Rural Development.

The Virginian will start the new position on Jan, 8 and be responsible for managing a portfolio of more than $6 billion in loan, grant and loan guarantee programs that help rural Americans. The RBS is one of three agencies within USDA Rural Development responsible for administering various economic development programs to rural communities in the United States and its territories.

Brand comes to Rural Development with more than 35 years of experience at Farm Credit, a major financial partner to America’s rural communities. Most recently, Brand served as a chief advocate for the agricultural industry by overseeing the Farm Credit Knowledge Center.

Prior to this, Brand oversaw the business development of a $1.6 billion credit portfolio. Brand is a longtime member of the Virginia Agribusiness Council, and serves on the board of directors of the Virginia Horse Council.

Previously, Brand served on the boards of the Virginia Cooperative Council and the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. Gov. Mark Warner appointed her to serve on the public board at the Virginia Horse Center. Brand holds a bachelor of science degree and a master of business administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

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