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Blake Curtis Named as Rural Development State Director

Ernie Watson
Release Date

--The Trump Administration announced the appointment of Blake Curtis as the new Stare Director for USDA Rural Development in New Mexico. Curtis began his new role on May 26, 2020.

"Blake Curtis brings a wealth of experience to his new position, and I welcome him to the Rural Development team,” said USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Bette Brand. “He will work tirelessly to strengthen the economies of New Mexico’s rural communities.”

Curtis has deep roots in both New Mexico and agriculture. A fourth generation New Mexican, he was raised on the same Forest, N.M., ranch where his ancestors homesteaded in the early 1900s. He still owns family homesteads and operates his ranch with the oldest registered Angus herd in New Mexico. He most recently served as Senior Vice President at Curtis and Curtis, Inc., a family-owned, agricultural-based business in eastern New Mexico.

Curtis also served as a New Mexico state legislator from 1986-1996. He served on the New Mexico Fair Commission from 1995-2001 and joined the New Mexico State University Board of Regents in 2006. 

Curtis and his wife, Terri, recently celebrated 43 years of marriage. They have two sons and six grandchildren. Curtis has been a private pilot for more than 40 years.

As State Director, Curtis will use his leadership experience to oversee Rural Development programs in a customer-focused manner to continue to restore prosperity in rural New Mexico.

Under the direction of Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA will always be facts-based and data-driven, with a decision-making mindset that is customer-focused. Secretary Perdue leads USDA with four guiding principles: to maximize the ability of American agriculture to create jobs, sell foods and fiber, and feed and clothe the world; to prioritize customer service for the taxpayers; to ensure that our food supply is safe and secure; and to maintain good stewardship of the natural resources that provide us with our miraculous bounty. And understanding that we live in a global economy where trade is of top importance, Secretary Perdue has pledged to be an unapologetic advocate for American agriculture.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/nm.

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