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OBAMA ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES NAMING STATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS FOR THE FARM SERVICE AGENCY
WASHINGTON, July 01, 2009 - The Obama Administration today continued naming individuals who will serve as State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency at the USDA.
"These individuals have 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.
Trudy Kareus: Kareus most recently worked as the Colorado Western Slope Director for then-Senator Ken Salazar where she conducted outreach throughout the region. She has worked with the USDA since 1998, first as a Southwest Area Director for the Farm Service Agency. In that role she worked closely with producers, implemented farm programs and supervised state directors in southwestern states, including Colorado. Her additional roles at USDA include a term as the Director, Native American Programs Office, and as Director, Food Supply Working Group, where she assessed awareness and readiness of the domestic food supply system. Kareus has worked for a variety of elected U.S. officials and provided guidance on issues of agriculture and rural development. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Colorado State University.
Richard Rush: Rush was the Vice President for Natural Resources for the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry for five years before leaving to work as CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Idaho in 2006. He also served as the Idaho State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency from 1993-2001. Rush served as the Vice President of Legislative Affairs at the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, and as a state director for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. He has experience managing food production sales and promoted wheat in both the domestic and international markets during his tenure as Administrator with the Idaho Wheat Commission. While at the Coeur D'Alene Tribe Development Enterprise, he managed six businesses including a 6,000 acre dryland farm and livestock operation. Rush holds a Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics from the University of Idaho and a master's degree in agricultural economics from the University of California, Davis.
Adrian Polanski: Polansky has served as the Secretary of Agriculture for the State of Kansas since 2003 and is the owner of a 1900-acre family farm and wholesale farm seed company. From 1993-2001, he served as the Kansas State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency. He is a recognized leader on agricultural issues and has been actively engaged with many national and local agricultural organizations for over 30 years, including his current position as President of the Food Export Association of the Midwest, and as Secretary-Treasurer at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). In 1999 Polansky was honored by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for his efforts in implementing disaster assistance. He also received a USDA Distinguished Service Award for outstanding leadership and management during his tenure as State Executive Director. Polansky has a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Kansas 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.