Longtime cooperator Bette Brand named USDA’s new Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary

NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Doug O’Brien presents Administrator Brand with the Co-op Impact Champion Award at a reception hosted by REI’s Washington, DC flagship store.

Bette Brand will serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary following the retirement of Donald “DJ” LaVoy, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced in a February 28 press release.

“The mission of Rural Development to improve the economy and quality of life in rural America will continue to advance with Bette at the helm,” Secretary Perdue said, noting that Administrator Brand’s “drive and tenacity” to champion rural prosperity make her well suited for the role.

The recipient of NCBA CLUSA’s 2019 Co-op Impact Champion Award, Administrator Brand is a longtime cooperator with wide-ranging experience promoting rural communities and the cooperatives that help them thrive. Since joining USDA in January 2018, she has prioritized increasing rural America’s access to capital, investing in innovative technology and helping businesses create jobs.

Prior to USDA, she spent 35 years with Farm Credit of the Virginias, where she most recently served as chief advocate for the agriculture industry and rural businesses, supporting producers at the state and national level and educating policymakers and consumers on agriculture.

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