USDA announces Rural Development state director

by Staff report
| February 15, 2022 1:00 AM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden announced on Jan. 13 his intent to appoint eight U.S. Department of Agriculture regional positions, including five Farm Service Agency state executive directors and three Rural Development state directors, according to information released by USDA. One of the positions is the Rural Development state director for Washington.

“As we work to build a better America, we need talented and experienced staff working in our state offices,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a press release. “We are thrilled to welcome these dedicated individuals to USDA at such an important time in the Biden-Harris administration.”

FSA state executive directors oversee Farm Service Agency operations and agricultural policy implementation in the state. Each state executive director works with the State Committee to administer FSA programs and county office operations, develops and maintains stakeholder relationships with customers and other agencies and governments.

Rural Development state directors serve as the chief executive officer of Rural Development in the states and territories and are tasked with carrying out the mission of Rural Development to the benefit of everyone in rural America. In conjunction with the guidance and support of the national office, state directors are responsible for promoting the mission and strategic goals of Rural Development and provide key leadership to develop and support a productive, diverse, and inclusive state workforce.

Helen Price Johnson was named as Rural Development state director for Washington state. A third-generation small business owner, Helen Price Johnson concluded three terms on the Island County Commission in 2021, according to a press release. She is a past president of the Washington State Association of Counties, a two-term member of the South Whidbey School Board and a former member of the board of directors of the Whidbey Community Foundation. In these roles, she worked statewide advocating for small towns, small businesses and rural lands.