Brown Announces Recommendations for top Ohio USDA Positions

Brown Recommends to President Obama USDA Appointments for Ohio Farm Service Agency and Rural Development

WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced his recommendations to President Obama for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) positions in Ohio.

“I’m proud to recommend to President Obama these Ohio representatives for the USDA. These are Ohioans from diverse agriculture backgrounds from across the state who understand small town and rural communities. They are committed to strengthening Ohio agriculture and to ensuring prosperity in our state’s rural areas in years to come,” Brown said.
The seven USDA positions are selected by the President of the United States. Brown recommends the following appointments:

Ohio State Director, USDA Farm Service Agency

For the position of Ohio State Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency, Brown recommends Steven Maurer. A former state executive director of the Ohio FSA, Maurer also served as the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture for 5 years. Maurer oversees the Natural Areas and Preserves Division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to protect state nature preserves, to administer the Ohio Scenic River Program, and maintain a database of threatened and endangered species.

Ohio State Director, USDA Rural Development
For the position of Ohio State Director, USDA Rural Development, Brown recommends John Rauch. A former Rural Development Specialist at USDA, Rauch currently works with the Great Lakes RCAP to provide rural communities with water and environmental infrastructure. Rauch is also the State Coordinator for the WSOS Community Action Agency. He served as a rural development specialist at USDA for 11 years.

Ohio State Farm Service Agency Committee

For appointed members of the Ohio State Farm Service Agency Committee, a part-time position, Brown recommends John Bresler, John Lavelle, Bruce Long, Jim Rex, and Jim Zumbrink.

John Bresler is a fourth generation family farmer from Bloomdale, Wood County, Ohio and long-time member of the Ohio Famers Union. He participated and volunteered for the Farm Service Agency Wood County committee.

John Lavelle owns a family livestock farm in addition to the law firm, Lavelle & Associates located in Athens, Ohio. He served as special counsel to five Ohio attorney generals.

Bruce Long is the owner and operator of Long Farms in South Charleston, Clarke County, Ohio. Last year, he received the Ohio Environmental Stewardship Award. Long serves on the boards of the Ohio Livestock Coalition, the U.S. Grains Council, and the Ohio Corn Marketing Program.

Jim Rex has more than 40 years experience in southeast Ohio livestock and grain operations. In addition, he has 30 years experience with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) at all levels, including county executive director and district director.

Jim Zumbrink, a self-employed farmer for more than 40 years in Rossburg, Darke County, Ohio, is the current president of the Darke County Agricultural Society and the vice president of the Darke County Farmers Union. In addition, Zumbrink has served the Ohio Farm Service Agency as both a county committeeman and as a community committeeman.

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