The White House on Wednesday announced five new appointments to state-level positions with the Agriculture Department, including the Farm Service Agency's state directors for Kentucky, Missouri and Nebraska.

Also named were the state directors for USDA Rural Development for Montana and the joint office for Vermont and New Hampshire.

The new FSA director for Nebraska is John Berge, a veteran of the Obama administration and USDA. He was appointed the White House liaison to USDA in 2009 and later served as deputy and acting assistant secretary for congressional relations at USDA.

At USDA, Berge also served as the deputy administrator for field operations at FSA and as the executive director of USDA's National Food and Agriculture Council.

Berge also served on the staffs of Nebraska Sens. Jim Exon, Bob Kerrey, and Ben Nelson.

Dean Schamore, a former Kentucky state legislator, will be the FSA director in that state. He is the president of Digital Connections Plus, an IT firm he founded in 1993, and he chairs the Lincoln Trail Workforce Investment Board.

Joe Aull, a long-time educator and a former legislator in Missouri, will be that state’s FSA director. He most recently was the superintendent of schools for the Lexington and the Marshall School Districts. He served eight years in the Missouri House and is the current mayor of Lexington.

Kathleen Williams, who ran unsuccessfully for Montana’s congressional seat in 2020, will be the Rural Development director for the state. She has “enjoyed a 38-year career in economics and natural resource planning and policy spanning the public, private, and non-profit sectors,” according to the White House.

Sarah Waring will be RD state director for Vermont and New Hampshire.  Waring has been serving as vice president for grants and community investments at the Vermont Community Foundation. She also has worked with the Vermont Council on Rural Development, Farm and Wilderness Foundation, the Sonoran Institute, and the Center for an Agricultural Economy.

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