By Agri-Pulse Staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 – USDA's Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS) Michael Scuse announced Tuesday that Karis Gutter has agreed to serve as Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. In a memo to FFAS staff, Scuse wrote:

Many of you already know Karis from his current position as Senior Advisor to the Secretary. Karis has also served this Administration as Deputy Administrator for Field Operations (DAFO), where he was responsible the oversight and guidance for 50 state and Puerto Rico executive directors. He also served as a senior policy aide for Congressman Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi and the House Committee on Homeland Security, specializing in agro defense policy and minority agricultural issues. He brings a wealth of knowledge to this position.”

Karis Gutter, appointed Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. Photo: Agri-Pulse.

“Additionally, Jonathan Coppess will return to Capitol Hill to help craft the next farm bill as chief counsel to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. He has done an excellent job of administering the Farm Service Agency, and has been instrumental in implementing provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill. We thank him for his outstanding service and wish him the best as he assumes his position as announced today by Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Committee.

“I am also pleased to announce that Val Dolcini, California FSA State Executive Director, will serve as the Acting Administrator for FSA. I am confident that Val will provide continuity and steady leadership for FSA’s efforts on behalf of America’s farmers and ranchers. Previously, Val served as a Senior Manager for the Office of Government Relations in Accenture LLP and as Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante's Policy Director where he advised on agriculture, rural development, and business issues. Val also served as State Executive Director in California during the Clinton Administration.”

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