By Stewart Doan

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 – In the latest case of an Obama administration official leaving, Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Jim Miller announced Tuesday that he offered his resignation and that “Secretary Vilsack has accepted.” He is expected to return to Capitol Hill to work for Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made this comment on Miller's resignation as FFAS Under Secretary:

“Jim Miller, a valued leader and trusted advisor, has submitted to me his resignation as Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service at USDA. Jim is a fierce advocate for American agriculture and under his leadership, trade barriers have been broken and new records have been set for agricultural exports. Jim’s leadership was instrumental in implementing the 2008 Farm Bill, while also improving how we deliver payments to farmers in the most timely and efficient way possible. His commitment to conservation led to the expanded CRP enrollment currently underway. Jim is also keenly aware of the need to reduce the federal deficit, and under his leadership we achieved $4 billion in savings by renegotiating the federal government’s contract with the crop insurance industry. Jim will continue doing important work on behalf of farmers and ranchers and I thank him for his tireless service to USDA and the farmers and ranchers that we serve.”

In a letter to his USDA colleagues, Miller wrote:

January 18, 2011

Dear Colleagues,

After several weeks of personal reflection and conversations with family and friends, I have tendered, and Secretary Vilsack has accepted, my resignation as Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the United States Department of Agriculture.

I write to personally inform you of this decision, because each of you has had a profound impact on my career at USDA. This was an extremely difficult decision, but one that I believe is important and appropriate for the Obama Administration, our stakeholders and personally.

As I transfer my responsibilities to my successor, whom I expect to be named in the near future, I hope you will continue to provide the excellent counsel and advice to the new Under Secretary that has characterized our relationship over the past two years.

Personally, I plan to remain in the public sector and continue to work on agriculture and trade policy issues, albeit in a different venue. I will be looking forward to the time our paths cross in the future.

I wish each of you a happy, healthy and successful 2011.

Respectfully yours,

James W. Miller
Under Secretary
Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services
United States Department of Agriculture

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