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Shining a Spotlight on USDA Research, Education, and Economics Mission Area Employees

Posted by Megan Guilfoyle, Public Affairs Specialist, Research, Education, and Economics Mission Area in Research and Science
May 06, 2024
Public Service Recognition Week 2024 header

The first full week of May is Public Service Recognition Week—a time to honor the dedicated people who serve our country every day. USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area is home to more than 8,500 public servants, who are some of the best and brightest mind in agriculture science.

REE employees advance cutting-edge research and develop solutions that are feeding, fueling and clothing our growing world. They are ensuring our agricultural and food systems are more sustainable, prosperous and equitable than ever before. Their work touches the lives of Americans in every corner of the Nation. Today, we spotlight several REE colleagues, whose contributions make USDA shine.

Brenda Hill

Name: Brenda Hill
Title: Deputy Director, Southern Regional Office
Agency: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)

Briefly describe your job in one sentence: In my role, I provide leadership and strategic guidance on the survey process and activities across the southern region spanning 4 states—Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

My favorite part about my job is…getting the opportunity to work with people, both internally and externally, and helping to grow the careers of new employees beginning their journey with USDA NASS. I am very passionate about creating opportunities for my team to excel in the areas they are good in and develop them in areas they have less experience in. I believe that NASS has varying opportunities that would afford anyone a fruitful and fulfilling career as it has been for me.

I serve because…I believe the information we provide serves as the cornerstone of all decisions made in the agricultural community.

Thomas Kane

Name: Thomas Kane
Title: Lead IT Specialist
Agency: USDA Economic Research Service (ERS)

Briefly describe your job in one sentence: I oversee, develop and troubleshoot various website and IT systems with ERS and ensure they are functional and in compliance.

My favorite part about my job is…engaging in unique IT challenges every day and the wonderful team I get to work with at ERS.

I serve because…after serving in the military for over 10 years, I wanted to continue to serve in a small way and continue the camaraderie I had with many other public servants with similar backgrounds.

Dorissel Resto

Name: Dorissel Resto
Title: Social Science Program Specialist
Agency: USDA National Institute of Food & Agriculture (NIFA)

Briefly describe your job in one sentence: In my role, I am dedicated to supporting USDA's efforts to expand education opportunities and serve historically underserved communities, such as those in Insular and Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian areas, because I believe in the power of equal opportunities.

My favorite part about my job is…the platform it provides me to serve and represent underserved U.S. territories and Hispanic communities. NIFA has deepened my knowledge and appreciation for agriculture and agriculture education.

I serve because...during my time as an intern, I saw that USDA NIFA operated with integrity as it sought to achieve its goals, which compelled me to transition to a permanent employee. I serve because I want to be a part of a mission that positively impacts the lives of others.

William Trenkle

Name: William Trenkle
Title: Departmental Scientific Integrity Officer
Office: USDA Office of the Chief Scientist

Briefly describe your job in one sentence: In my role, I am responsible for policy, training, education and oversight of scientific integrity for USDA and our 100,000 employees.

My favorite part about my job is…working to protect and improve public confidence and trust in USDA’s science and science-based decision making.

I serve because…I want the public and our communities to be able to trust USDA’s science, which covers so many important topics including our food safety, agricultural health, land management, and new products in the grocery store.

Joseph Brasley

Name: Joseph Brasley
Title: Management and Program Analyst
Agency: USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Briefly describe your job in one sentence: I support the Pacific West Area, which includes 20 locations across 8 states, and I ensure the Area Office is agile, innovative and relevant in accomplishing our mission.

My favorite part about my job is…learning about the breadth and depth of our research that takes place in the Pacific West. The research includes crops production/protection, natural resources, animal production/protection, and nutrition/food safety. I’m able to see firsthand how our scientists solve agricultural problems and fulfill the agency’s mission.

I serve because…public service is near and dear to my heart. We all have a choice where we work, and ARS has aligned with my values.

Category/Topic: Research and Science