USDA Announces First Installment of Farm Service Agency and Rural Development State Directors

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2021 – Following a press release from President Joe Biden announcing the appointment of several regional appointments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointments of five Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Directors and seven Rural Development (RD) State Directors.

“These twelve individuals are incredible public servants who have a proven track record when it comes to their commitment to advance their states and communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Each will serve on the frontlines, carrying out USDA’s mission at the state level and ensuring the voice of each and every USDA customer is heard. We are fortunate to have each of these talented individuals at this critical time for farmers and producers and rural communities across America.”

FSA State Executive Directors oversee Farm Service Agency operations and agricultural policy implementation in the state. Each State Executive Director works with the State Committee to administer FSA programs and County office operations, develops and maintains stakeholder relationships with customers and other agencies and governments.

RD State Directors serve as the chief executive officer of Rural Development in the states and territories and are tasked with carrying out the mission of rural development to the benefit of everyone in rural America. In conjunction with the guidance and support of the National Office, State Directors are responsible for promoting the mission and strategic goals of Rural Development and provide key leadership to develop and support a productive, diverse, and inclusive state workforce.

Farm Service Agency

Arthur Tripp has been appointed FSA State Executive Director for Georgia

Arthur L. Tripp, Jr. is a native Georgian who was born in Warner Robins. Previously, Tripp served as the Senior Policy Advisor to U.S. Congressman David Scott, current Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, where he handled the agriculture policy portfolio for the Congressman. Additionally, he served as a Senior Administrator in the Office of the President at the University of Georgia and as District Director for Georgia’s 7th Congressional District. Tripp is a graduate of the University of Georgia (UGA) and has been previously recognized as a member of the UGA 40Under40 and has served on the Alumni Board of Directors for the UGA School of Public and International Affairs. Tripp and his wife Jessica have a 3-year-old son, Arthur III.

Dr. Timothy Boring has been appointed FSA State Executive Director for Michigan

Tim Boring operates his family’s sixth generation farm in Stockbridge, MI, raising a wide variety of grain crops utilizing soil health and regenerative agriculture principles. He is the President and Founder of Michigan Agriculture Advancement, an organization dedicated to improving the economic, environmental, and social state of Michigan agriculture. Boring has served on the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development, as Vice President of the Michigan Agri-Business Association and as Research Director of the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee. He holds a Master of Science and PhD in Crop and Soil Sciences from Michigan State University.

Jonas Moya has been appointed FSA State Executive Director for New Mexico

Born and raised on his grandmother’s farm and cattle ranch in Tucumcari, New Mexico, Jonas Moya is a fourth-generation agriculturist with deep roots in New Mexico’s diverse agriculture industry. Most recently, Moya served as the Executive Director for New Mexico Cattle Grower’s Association (NMCGA). Prior to NMCGA, he was the Civic Engagement & Policy Manager at New Mexico First, an organization dedicated to building consensus on critical issues facing the state. Moya holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and Business from New Mexico State University.

Bob Etheridge has been appointed FSA State Executive Director for North Carolina

Bob Etheridge is a dedicated public servant with a long history of service to his country, beginning with two years in the U.S. Army. First elected in 1996, he served 14 years in Congress representing North Carolina’s 2nd District. For twelve years, Etheridge served on the House Agriculture Committee and for two years as Chairman of the General Farm Commodity and Risk Management Subcommittee. Prior, he was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives and as State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Etheridge returns to USDA after being appointed by President Obama to be FSA State Executive Director for North Carolina in 2013, where he served until January 2017.

Laurie Funderburk has been appointed FSA State Executive Director for South Carolina

Laurie Slade Funderburk has over 20 years of legal, business, and insurance experience and from 2004 to 2020, she served in the South Carolina House of Representatives. Raised by a farming family, Funderburk volunteers with local and statewide organizations that work to improve community health and access to nutrition. Funderburk resides in Camden, SC and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Honors College and the USC School of Law.

Rural Development

Nivory Gordon, Jr. has been appointed RD State Director for Alabama

Nivory Gordon, Jr. has over 34 years of service with USDA Rural Development. He joined the agency in 1989 and has held a variety of roles, from Assistant County Supervisor to Area Director. Gordon began his career as a Co-op Student in 1987 while attending Alabama A & M University in Huntsville, Alabama. Gordon obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education in 1989 and a Master of Science in Agricultural Management in 1992. Gordon is a native of Wilcox County, Alabama, and currently resides there and operates a family farm in Furman, Alabama.

Reggie Taylor has been appointed RD State Director for Georgia

Most recently, Reggie Taylor served as the Acting State Director for Georgia for USDA’s Rural Development agency. He joined the agency in 2015 as a Community Economic Development Specialist and prior to joining USDA, Taylor served as City Manager for the City of East Point, GA and was the Executive Director of the Marietta Redevelopment Corporation in Marietta, GA. Taylor holds a Master of Science in Business Management and Organizational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.

Patricia Dominguez has been appointed RD State Director for New Mexico

Patricia Dominguez is a native of rural northern New Mexico and a committed public servant. Since 2013, she has served on the congressional staff for Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, and from 2008 to 2012, she served on the staff of Senator Jeff Bingaman, also of New Mexico. Coupled alongside her congressional experience, Dominguez has worked in state and county government. Dominguez holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of New Mexico.

Reginald Speight has been appointed RD State Director for North Carolina

Reginald Speight was raised in Wilson North Carolina where he currently resides. Speight most recently served in the Office of Congressman G.K. Butterfield and has more than 20 years of nonprofit management experience in North Carolina. He has served on numerous local, state, and national boards and his career has been dedicated to the promotion of equity, inclusion, and economic mobility for residents of eastern North Carolina.

Dr. Saundra Glover has been appointed RD State Director for South Carolina

Dr. Saundra Glover is currently a Distinguished Professor Emerita and adjunct professor in the Department of Health Services Policy and Management in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. She served for several years as the first Associate Dean for Health Disparities and Social Justice in the Arnold School of Public Health and directed the Institute for Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities research portfolio that grew to $35 million under her leadership. Additionally, Dr. Glover served as Associate Director of the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center. A graduate of the School of Business at South Carolina State University, Dr. Glover received her MBA and Doctor of Philosophy in Management and Organizational Behavior from the University of South Carolina.

Bob Morgan has been appointed RD State Director for Pennsylvania

Bob Morgan spent 25 years in the investment, insurance and banking arenas assisting fellow Pennsylvanians in making decisions that impacted and improved their lives. He also worked for 8 years as Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director for Congressman Matthew A. Cartwright of Pennsylvania, working with community leaders on several major economic development initiatives designed to enhance the communities of the Northeastern corner of the state. As a lifelong Pennsylvanian and a resident of a rural community, he is committed to extending greater access to programs designed to upgrade the economic engine driving investment in our rural communities.

Brandon Fewins has been appointed RD State Director for Michigan

Brandon Fewins has served as Northern Michigan Regional Manager for U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow for over 20 years. He has extensive experience working with elected officials, community leaders, USDA and agencies at all levels of government on local economic development and rural development initiatives. He has been an advisor to the Senator and staff of the U.S Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on issues related to Michigan agriculture, forestry, rural development, the Great Lakes, and conservation. Brandon is a lifelong resident of the Grand Traverse region, grew up on a centennial farm and owns a small business.

For more information, please read President Biden Announces Key Regional Appointments for EPA, HHS, and USDA

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