Obama Administration Continues Naming State Directors for Rural Development | USDA Newsroom
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News Release

Release No. 0353.09
Office of Communication 202-720-4623

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WASHINGTON, July 30, 2009- The Obama Administration today continued naming individuals who will serve as State Director for Rural Development at the USDA.

"These individuals will be important advocates on behalf of rural communities in states throughout the country and help administer the valuable programs and services provided by the USDA that can enhance their economic success," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.


Sarah Mersereau-Adler- Mersereau-Adler currently serves as Grants and Special Projects Manager for the Carson City School District in Carson City, Nevada. From 1993-2000, she served as State Director of USDA Rural Development in Nev., where she dramatically increased service levels to rural communities and oversaw significant investment in grants, loans and loan guarantees. From 1986-1993, she served as Rural Program Co-Director for the Nevada Commission on Economic Development. She also has served as Deputy Director for the Nevada Office of Community Services, and from 1982-1983 served as a Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) volunteer with Advocates to End Domestic Violence. Mersereau-Adler received her B.A. in Political Science from Williams College in Massachusetts, her M.P.A. from the University of Nevada-Reno, and her teaching credentials from Sierra Nevada College in Nevada.


Shirley Sherrod- Since 1985, Sherrod has served as Director of the Georgia Field Office for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund. She has also served as Georgia State Lead for the Southern Rural Black Women's' Initiative for Economic and Social Justice. From 1999-2000, Sherrod served as Executive Director for Community Alliances of Interdependent Agriculture, Inc., in Albany, Ga. Sherrod has more than 15 years experience working with agriculture-focused organizations. Sherrod received a B.A. in Sociology from Albany State University in Albany, Ga., and a M.A. in Community Development from Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Rural Development administers and manages over 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facility programs as laid out by Congress through a network of 6,100 employees located in 500 national, state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of over $114 billion in loans and loan guarantees.

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.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272(voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).