Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has tapped Matt Lohr to lead the Natural Resources Conservation Service, putting the Virginia farmer in charge of the Department of Agriculture’s conservation efforts.

Lohr owns and operates Valley Pike Farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and served four years in the Virginia legislature. He resigned his seat in the Virginia House in 2010 to serve as Virginia’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services for three years. He has also worked for Farm Credit of the Virginias and has been farming full time since June of 2017.

In a statement, Perdue praised Lohr’s previous experience in agriculture and said it made him well-suited for his new role.

“The knowledge and experience he brings to the table will help ensure our locally-led, science-based approach continues to offer farmers the conservation solutions needed to enhance their environment and commercial viability,” Perdue said.

Lohr says he is “honored and humbled to serve America’s agricultural industry in this new capacity” and he cares “deeply about conserving and protecting our most valuable agricultural resources.”

In addition to his political experience, Lohr is also a past National FFA officer. He and his wife, Beth, have six children.

Lohr will take over from Leonard Jordan, who has been serving as the acting chief of  NRCS since 2017 and recently announced plans to step down in early January. Prior to Jordan’s term as acting chief, Jason Weller held the post before departing to join Land O’Lakes.

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