State Representative John Whitaker of Van Buren County, has been tapped to be the Executive Director of the Iowa Farm Service Agency by President Barack Obama and US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
From the USDA:
The Obama Administration today announced that John Whitaker will serve as Iowa State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency at the USDA.
“John Whitaker has a solid understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing our rural communities and will help build on the Obama Administration’s efforts to rebuild and revitalize rural America,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Whitaker has been a family farmer since 1979. He has represented his community in the Iowa State Legislature as their State Representative since 2003. Whitaker served as the Assistant Minority Leader from 2005-2006 and as the Assistant Majority Leader since 2007. Prior to joining the state house, he served as the Van Buren County Supervisor from 1993-2002 and was the President of the Iowa Farmers Union from 1992-2001. Whitaker earned two bachelor degrees from Iowa State University.
USDA’s Farm Services Agency works to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural Americans. Some of the agency’s efforts include facilitating income support, disaster assistance and conservation programs, providing operating loans for the procurement of farm equipment, seed and fertilizer, as well as offering ownership loans to help new and veteran producers purchase a farm.
FSA also works to procure various commodities to benefit low-income families through domestic food assistance programs. The USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture and natural resources and touches the life of every American. Reflecting President Obama’s commitment to expanding economic opportunities in rural America, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the USDA are working to enhance availability of broadband, promote the development of renewable energy, to conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment, and promote a sustainable, safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply.