The Obama Administration on November 23 announced the individuals who will serve on the Iowa Farm Service Agency State Committee. The FSA State Committee members oversee the activities of the agency which include carrying out USDA farm programs such as price support, conservation and other programs. The committee also helps in resolving appeals from the ag community and helps to keep producers informed about FSA programs.
"These individuals will work with USDA to help farmers and ranchers build and maintain successful operations that produce the safe, nutritious food supply that America needs while spurring economic development in our nation's rural communities," says U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "These people bring the experience and passion necessary to help continue the Obama Administration's efforts to rebuild and revitalize rural America."
The individuals appointed to serve on this committee include:
* John Judge (chairperson). Judge resides in West Des Moines, Iowa. He served as a loan collateral inspector and appraiser for the State Resources Corp. from 2000 to 2008. Judge also served as a state senator in the Iowa Legislature from Iowa's 46th District from 1998 to 2000. As a senator he served on the Senate's Economic Development Appropriations committee. He spent four years in the United States Marines Corps and has owned and operated a livestock farm near Albia since 1970. John's wife is Iowa Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge.
* Maria Vakulskas Rosmann. Rosmann is from Harlan, Iowa, and with her husband Ron has been a co-owner of Rosmann Family Farms since 1978. She joins the Iowa FSA state committee after serving as a panel member on the USDA's Organic Agriculture Research and Education Initiative under CSREES for two years.
* Matthew Russell. Russell is from Lacona, Iowa, and served as the state food policy coordinator at the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University before joining the Iowa FSA State Committee. He has co-owned and operated Coyote Run Farm since 2005 and was a community organizer for the Iowa Citizen Action Network from 2003 to 2006.
* Richard Machacek. Machacek is from Winthrop, Iowa, and served two terms on the judicial nominating commission for Iowa during the time when Vilsack was governor of Iowa. Machacek also was chair of the Buchanan County Democratic Central Committee for five terms and a super-delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Machacek is the owner and operator of Machacek farms.
* Gary Lamb. Lamb is from Chelsea, Iowa, has 57 years of farming experience and served as president of the Iowa Farmers Union for six years. From 1984 to 1986 he served as the agricultural liaison for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin. Lamb also served as chairman of the Iowa FSA State Committee from 1992 to 2001.
State committee helps oversee USDA farm programs in Iowa
USDA's Farm Services Agency works to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural Americans, says Vilsack. Some of the agency's efforts include facilitating income support, disaster assistance and conservation programs, providing operating loans for the procurement of farm equipment, seed and fertilizer, as well as offering ownership loans to help new and veteran producers purchase a farm. FSA also works to procure various commodities to benefit low-income families through domestic food assistance programs.
"USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture and natural resources and touches the life of every American," notes Vilsack. "Reflecting President Obama's commitment to expanding economic opportunities in rural America, USDA is working to enhance the availability of broadband, is promoting the further development of renewable energy, and is working to conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment, and to promote a sustainable, safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply."