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State directors appointed for Utah

The Obama Administration recently announced that David Conine will serve as Utah State Director for Rural Development and Arthur L. Douglas will serve as the Utah Executive Director for Farm Service Agency at the USDA.

"Both Mr. Conine and Mr. Douglas will be important advocates on behalf of rural communities throughout the state and help administer the valuable programs and services provided by the USDA that can enhance economic success," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Conine has worked for the past seven years with the Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC). In this role, he assisted the housing needs of low-income residents and provided much needed information on the USDA housing programs and the broader issues of rural community and economic development in conjunction with USDA's Rural Development staff. Conine worked to provide technical assistance on grant applications and training programs on housing organization staffs, including construction, supervisors, and assisting to have more plans to develop housing that is more energy efficient for low income residents. Rural Development administers and manages over 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facility programs as laid out by Congress through a network of 6,100 employees located in 500 national, state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of over $114 billion in loans and loan guarantees.

Douglas currently operates a family farm and ranch in Utah. Since 1997, he has served as President of the Utah Farmers Union and as former Secretary of the National Farmers Union. In 2008, he served as a Rural Agriculture Steering Committee Member, advising the Obama campaign on issues relating to rural America. From 2001-2006, Douglas served as Chairman of the Governor's Agricultural Advisory Board in Utah. He also served 14 years on the Howell Town Community Council, and 15 years as the Northern Utah Soil Conservation District Director.

The USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture and natural resources and touches the life of every American.

Reflecting President Obama's commitment to expanding economic opportunities in rural America, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the USDA are working to enhance availability of broadband, promote the development of renewable energy, to conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment, and promote a sustainable, safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply.

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