WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2022 – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to appoint eight U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regional positions, including five Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Directors and three Rural Development (RD) State Directors.
“As we work to build a better America, we need talented and experienced staff working in our state offices,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We are thrilled to welcome these dedicated individuals to USDA at such an important time in the Biden-Harris administration.”
In Washington State, Helen Price Johnson was named as USDA Rural Development's new state director. A third generation small business owners, she served 12 years as an Island County Commissioner which ended early 2021. She is a past president of the Washington State Association of Counties, a two-term member of the South Whidbey School Board and a member of the Board of Directors of the Whidbey Community Foundation. In these roles she has worked statewide advocating for small towns, small businesses, and rural lands.
State Directors serve as the chief executive officer of USDA 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.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/wa.