Matt Lohr, who has served as the only appointed chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service during the Trump administration, is leaving USDA, he announced Friday in a social media post.

Calling the moment "bittersweet," Lohr wrote, “My farm manager is retiring and moving away, so I have decided to head back to Broadway [Virginia] and farm full-time again next month,” Lohr said. “My family has made enormous sacrifices with me being gone so much. I look forward to settling back in to a more normal routine.”

Lohr was named NRCS chief in December 2018. Prior to his appointment, Leonard Jordan served as acting chief in the early days of the Trump administration. Much of Lohr's tenure was consumed with the implementation of the 2018 farm bill, which was passed the same month he joined the department.

“Matt has committed his entire life to the betterment of agriculture and we are grateful for his service to USDA,” Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “The knowledge and experience he brought to the table helped ensure our locally-led, science-based approach continues to offer farmers the conservation solutions needed to enhance their environment and commercial viability.”

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Lohr, a former Virginia ag commissioner and national FFA officer, thanked Perdue and Bill Northey, USDA’s undersecretary for farm production and conservation, for the opportunity.

“I have been so blessed to lead this agency and I will cherish the experience forever,” he said.

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