Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Friday announced the appointment of Bruce Summers as the administrator of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), part of the department’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs mission area.

“During his many years at the department, Bruce Summers has earned a reputation for excellence and effectiveness,” Perdue said. Summers had been serving as acting administrator. In that role, Perdue said, “Bruce has proved he has the knowledge and steady hand needed to continue leading AMS in their service to American farmers and families. I know that as AMS administrator, Bruce will build on his great record of success.”

AMS administers programs that create domestic and international marketing opportunities for U.S. producers of food, fiber, and specialty crops through voluntary grading, laboratory and quality verification programs. The agency also manages the USDA Market News Service, which provides free, unbiased price and sales information on farm commodities, and ensures fair trade practices in the agricultural supply chain by enforcing contract standards for the livestock and fruit and vegetable industries as well as the National Organic Program.

 More than 4,000 AMS professionals work every day to support the country’s diverse agricultural operations, which range from individual farmers to international businesses and employ one-in-12 American workers.

Summers began at USDA in the Fruit and Vegetable program, working in a number of key leadership roles at AMS for more than 30 years, and most recently serving as acting administrator. He earned a degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Maryland.