President Joe Biden has picked five officials from across the country to head up local Agriculture Department efforts.
On Thursday, USDA announced the names of five officials who will lead state Rural Development and Farm Service Agency offices. The announcement includes three individuals selected for FSA leadership and two for RD posts.
The three individuals selected for FSA positions are Ronald Guidry, Louisiana; Mark Gibbons, Utah; and Maureen Wicks, Montana. The two picked for Rural Development state director positions are Christy Davis, Kansas, and Lillian Salerno, Texas.
Farm Service Agency state executive directors:
Ronald Guidry, Louisiana:
Guidry has served as the adviser for USDA’s Farm Service Agency County Committee, which services multiple parishes across southeastern Louisiana. Guidry owns and operates Farm Dat, a USDA Class B certified farm, that focuses on raising and selling farm animals.
Mark Gibbons, Utah:
Gibbons is a third-generation dairy farmer from Lewiston, Utah. His family operates a 1200-acre farm where they milk roughly 700 cows each day. Gibbons was previously Utah’s FSA state executive director in 2014. He has also served as the president of the Utah Farmers Union, president of the Dairy Producers of Utah, president of the Governors Agriculture Advisory Board, vice president of the Western States Dairy Producers Trade Association, and Utah State FFA Foundation board member.
Maureen Wicks, Montana:
Wicks is a dryland wheat farmer and member of the Montana Grain Growers and Montana Farmer’s Union. She was the first woman elected to the Liberty County Farm Services Administration, where she served for 16 years. In 2014, Maureen was elected to serve as a Liberty County commissioner and was recently reelected in 2021.
Rural Development state directors:
Christy Davis, Kansas:
Most recently, Davis served as the executive director of Symphony in the Flint Hills. Davis has served as legislative chair for the Kansas Downtown Development Association and was on the board of the Chase County Chamber of Commerce.
Lillian Salerno, Texas:
Salerno boasts more than two decades of government and industry experience, including time at USDA. Before her current appointment, Salerno served in the Obama administration for six years, first as USDA's Rural Business Administrator and later as deputy undersecretary for Rural Development.
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