President Biden Announces Key Regional Appointments for USDA and HUD – The White House


WASHINGTON – Right now, President Joe Biden appointed The subsequent people to serve in key regional management positions at America Division of Agriculture (USDA) and the Division of Housing And concrete Enchancment (HUD):

  • Blong Xiong, USDA State Authorities Director, Farm Service Agency, California
  • Matt Gellings, USDA State Authorities Director, Farm Service Agency, Idaho
  • Whitney Place, USDA State Authorities Director, Farm Service Agency, Minnesota
  • Heidi Secord, USDA State Authorities Director, Farm Service Agency, Pennsylvania
  • Ronald Hoproperly, USDA State Authorities Director, Farm Service Agency, Virginia
  • Lakeisha Hood, USDA State Director, Rural Enchancment, Florida & U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Rudy Soto, USDA State Director, Rural Enchancment, Idaho
  • Helen Worth Johnson, USDA State Director, Rural Enchancment, Washington
  • Margaret Salazar, HUD Areaal Administrator, Area 10

These regional appointees Shall be essential to the President’s efforts to rebuild communities most impacted by the pandemic, the financial restoration, and local climate change. They carry deep expertise Inside their problem spaces As properly as to essential relationships with fedperiodl, state, tribal, And native chiefs. And, According to the President’s dedication to constructing an administration That seems like America, these regional appointees recurrent The differ of America and the communities they serve.

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency implements agricultural covperiodge, administers credit rating and mortgage packages, and manages conservation, commodity, disaster, and farm advertising packages in every U.S. State. Its mission is to equitably serve all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural companions by way of the supply of efficient, environment nice agricultural packages for all People. State Authorities Directors oversee this work, making sure the wants of native constituents are met and that USDA assets are distributed equitably and pretty.

USDA’s Rural Enchancment mission space is dedicated To serving to enhance the financial system and extreme quality of life in rural America. State Directors lead workplaces That current grants, mortgages, and mortgage ensures To assist create jobs and assist financial development and important providers.

Blong Xiong, USDA State Authorities Director, Farm Service Agency, California
As a Outcome of the chief Director for Asian Enterprise Institute & Useful resource Center (ABIRC), and with over 20 yrs of group service, Xiong works with the Board To primarytain out the imaginative and prescient and mission of ABIRC to serve the small Southeast Asian farmers and small Asian companies Inside the Central Valley. Earlier to being The chief Director for ABIRC, Xiong served two time durations as a Council Member for The metropolis of Fresno from 2007-2014, the place he was The primary elected Hmong Council Member Inside the State of California and The primary Asian Council Member Inside The metropolis. He has additionally served as Deputy Director for The Fresno Center,), a nonrevenue group that assists immigrants, refugees, and New People. Xiong Might be very lively in factors that span education, financial development, well being, and equitable entry to assets, and has sat on statewide commissions, the Asian Pacific Islander Fee, the California Volunteer Fee, as a committee member on the Insurance covperiodge Variety Board, and was An space board member of Valley Small Enterprise Enchancment Corp. and API collaborative member.  Xiong primarytains a Bachelor of Science diploma in Enterprise Administration from Marian School of Fond du Lac and a grasp’s diploma in Enterprise Administration from Nationwide College.

Matt Gellings, USDA State Authorities Director, Farm Service Agency, Idaho
Gellings is a fourth-period farmer from Idaho Falls, Idaho. Alfalfa, wheat, malt barley and potatoes are crops produced on his irrigated acreage. Gellings additionally opperiodted a cow/calf opperiodtion for 26 yrs. He has served on the Farm Service Agency State Committee for the previous twelve yrs and has been A strong advocate in all elements of agriculture. From county, state and national boards, Gellings has On A daily basis needed to serve the Idaho farmer/rancher group.

Whitney Place, USDA State Authorities Director, Farm Service Agency, Minnesota
Place has in depth expertise in state government. She has served in numerous positions On the Minnesota Division of Agriculture, most currently as Assistant Feeer. As Assistant Feeer, Place led state efforts round water extreme quality, pesticides, industrial hemp, dairy assist, and rural psychological well being. Place earned a B.S. in Utilized Plant Science and an M.S. in Science, Know-how and Environpsychological Policy from the College of Minnesota. She grew up in Okabena, Minnesota the place she found about agriculture in her Highschool FFA program and on her household’s farms.

Heidi Secord, USDA State Authorities Director, Farm Service Agency, Pennsylvania
Secord owns and opperiodtes the Josie Porter Farm in northeastern PA. She has over 26 yrs of farming and regenperiodtive agriculture expertise and A diploma in Enterprise Administration from the College of Rhode Island. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer For 3 yrs in Mali and Lesotho. She is A strong advocate for meals, agriculture, and social simplyice factors. She additionally served as the State President for the Pennsylvania Farmers Union and sat on the Nationwide Farmers Union Board of Directors. Secord has been livelyly engaged in agricultural covperiodge committee work with a quantity of state groups collectively with: PASA Sustainable Agriculture Board, Pennsylvania State Council of Farm Organizations (PSCFO), All Together Now Pennsylvania, and as a farmer Board member of the Monroe County Conservation District. She presently serves as a Farmer member on the Pennsylvania State Conservation Fee, a Governor appointed place. Secord, an Oxfam “Sister on the Planet”, brings her groupal management, her work and expertise in sustainable agriculture and covperiodge work to her new place with the Farm Service Agency.  Secord and her husband Gary Bloss reside in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

Ronald Hoproperly, USDA State Authorities Director, Farm Service Agency, Virginia
Hoproperly Includes this new place with Greater than 12 yrs of expert expertise in extremeer education, state, and fedperiodl government. In summer time 2018, he started his tenure as the Director of Opperiodtions and Administration Inside The school of Agriculture at Virginia State College. On this performance, he oversees day-to-day opperiodtions of The school and the College’s Farm. He additionally carries an administrative appointment Inside the Division of Agriculture and serves as A school teacher, teverying packages in agriculture education and mechanization. Beforehand, Hoproperly served as the Particular Assistant/Advisor for Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives to the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, Inside the Office of Virginia Governors McAuliffe and Northam, respectively. Throughout the Commonwealth, he labored to strengthen outrevery efforts As properly as to minority and restricted resourced producers’ participation in USDA and state-based mostly agricultural and conservation packages. Furthermore, he currentd ideas for the Virginia Farm Enterprise Enchancment Program (VFBD) and the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Enchancment (AFID) Program.

Hoproperly acquired his B.S. in Agriculture Enterprise and Economics from Virginia State College in 2009 and earned a Master’s diploma from Virginia Tech in Agricultural and Life Sciences in 2012. In 2021, he acquired his doctorate diploma in P-20 Education and Community Leadership with A spotlight in Agriculture Education from Murray State College in Murray, Kentucky. He resides in Spring Grove, Virginia.

Lakeisha Hood, USDA State Director, Rural Enchancment, Florida & U.S. Virgin Islands
Most currently, Hood served as the Director of the Diimaginative and prescient of Food, Vitamin and Wellness Inside the Florida Division of Agriculture and Shopper Services (FDACS). In that position, she managed the implementation of the state’s meals and nutrition packages, collectively with oversight of a $12 million opperiodtional price range and Greater than $1 billion of fedperiodl move-by way of funds. Earlier to becoming a member of FDACS, Hood served as a legislative assistant Inside the Florida Senate. A graduate of Alabama State College, Hood obtained her Master of Education diploma from Auburn College at Montgomery and has earned regulation levels from North Carolina Central College School of Law and the College of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. Hood presently resides in Tallahassee, Florida and is a licensed member of the State Bar of Georgia.

Rudy Soto, USDA State Director, Rural Enchancment, Idaho
Born and raised in Nampa, Idaho, Soto is a member of the Shoshone Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation and the son of a farmworker. He is a proud vetperiodn of America Army Nationwide Guard. Soto’s expert expertise consists of working Inside the areas of financial development, public well being, conservation, and baby welfare. He previously served as a legislative staffer Inside the U.S. House of Recurrentatives and coated power, environment, agriculture, education, transportation, and tribal factors as An factor of his portfolio. Soto acquired his bachelor’s diploma from Portland State College. Most currently, Soto labored for Western Leaders Community, a nonpartisan nonrevenue group of native and tribal elected officers across The within West focused on defending public lands, water, and air. Soto’s current run for Idaho’s 1st Congressional District allowed him to study firsthand Regarding the distinct challenges people face in every region of the state. His advertising campaign RV tour took him To every county all by way of western and northern Idaho the place he held metropolis halls and meet & greets To debate options to longstanding rural factors. He is moveionate about serving rural communities like These he comes from in Idaho and making sure people from all walks of life have entry to pretty priced housing, broadband, and pathways out of poverty.

Helen Worth Johnson, USDA State Director, Rural Enchancment, Washington
Devoted to group service and good governance, Worth Johnson has in depth management expertise with rural communities. She is a previous president of the Washington State Affiliation of Counties, A 3-time period Island County Feeer, and a two-time period South Whidbey School Board member. Her moveion lies in strengthening Washington’s rural communities to thrive by way of assist of smart, sustainable financial development the placeas defending the environment. Worth Johnson has labored statewide advocating for small cities, small companies, and rural lands. She is A third-period small Industry proprietor And in addition enjoys assisting her group by way of non-revenue service.

Areaal Directors lead HUD’s 10 Areaal Offices that immediately serve state And native groups. Areaal Directors oversee area workplaces across every state Inside their region And Make constructive the Division immediately serves native communities. Areaal Directors play a key position in main assignments of housing assist funds Contained in the region and coordinating those assignments with HUD headquarters.

Margaret Salazar, HUD Areaal Administrator, Area 10
Salazar serves Inside The cupboard of Oregon Governor Kate Brown and is Authorities Director of Oregon Housing Community Services (OHCS), the state’s Housing Finance Agency. Throughout her 5-yr tenure On the helm, OHCS tripled its manufacturing of pretty priced rental housing, created almost 1,000 models of Everlasting Supportive Housing statewide, deployed $500 million in emergency rental assist, handed legal guidelines to increase racial equity in homelessness packages, and increaseed mortgage lending to homebuyers of colour. Salazar led the agency To answer the state’s historic 2020 wildfires with revolutionary modular developments and providers for Oregon’s agricultural staff. A national chief in pretty priced housing finance, Salazar previously served in management positions in HUD Headquarters, the place she stewarded the Rental Assistance Demonstration and financed the recapitalization of lots of of properties the placeas safeguarding affordability for hundreds of weak seniors and houseprimarytains. Salazar started her profession in philanthropy, funding group groups working for social and financial simplyice across the Western States. An prolonged-time housing advocate, she led a revenueable grassroots advertising campaign for simply set off eviction protections in Oakland, California in 2002.  Salazar is a graduate of Wesleyan College and UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and has served on the Boards of Directors of the Low Income Funding Fund, Nationwide Housing Notion, and Nationwide Council of State Housing Enterprisees. She grew up on a cherry orchard in Hood River, Oregon and is proud to name the Pacific Northwest home.

Area 10 serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.



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