WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2021 – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to appoint six U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regional positions, including four Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Directors and two Rural Development (RD) State Directors.

“These talented individuals joining USDA will play an integral role in advancing and promoting USDA’s mission by ensuring that we touch the lives of individuals throughout the country,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Each of them is a valued addition to our growing team.”

FSA State Executive Directors oversee Farm Service Agency operations and agricultural policy implementation in the state. Each State Executive Director works with the State Committee to administer FSA programs and County office operations, develops and maintains stakeholder relationships with customers and other agencies and governments.

RD State Directors serve as the chief executive officer of 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.

Farm Service Agency

Matthew Russell has been appointed FSA State Executive Director for Iowa

Matt Russell is a fifth-generation farmer operating a family farm and ranch near Lacona, Iowa. In 2018, he began as the executive director of Iowa Interfaith Power and Light, a statewide faith-based climate action organization. Russell has previously worked at Drake University’s Agricultural Law Center, the Iowa Citizen Action Network, the National Catholic Rural Life Conference and Bishop Gorman High School in Law Vegas, Nevada. He has a master’s degree in Rural Sociology from Iowa State University and a bachelor’s degree from Loras College.

Kent Peppler has been appointed FSA State Executive Director for Colorado

Kent Peppler is a fourth-generation farmer from Mead, Colorado. He was a member of the Colorado FSA Executive Committee from 1995 to 2000. Additionally, Peppler served briefly as the FSA Assistant State Executive Director and Acting State Executive Director. He also served as a trade advisor on the United States Department of Agriculture Sweeteners Agriculture Trade Advisory Committee (ATAC). Peppler has also served as president of the Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association and the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. He holds an Associate of Arts degree from Northeastern Junior College and a Bachelor of Arts in Agriculture Education from Colorado State University.

Clifton Warren, Jr. has been appointed FSA State Executive Director for Alabama

Clifton Warren, Jr. was raised on a family farm in Greene County, Alabama. He has over 25 years of service to his country, including three years in the US Army and 22 years at FSA. Warren first joined FSA in 1999 as a Temporary Program Technician and has held many roles in the years since, including County Operations Trainee, Program Technician, County Operations Reviewer, and County Executive Director for the counties of Hale, Perry and Bibb. He most recently worked as the District Director for FSA offices in 13 counties. Warren attended DeVry University in Atlanta, Georgia, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Management with a concentration in Human Resource Management and Project Management.

Robin Tally has been appointed FSA State Executive Director for Delaware

Robin Talley has served in various capacities within FSA since 1984. Most recently, she served as a District Director overseeing three field offices in Delaware. Talley is a recipient of the George M. Worrilow Award, presented by the University of Delaware Ag Alumni Association for outstanding service to agriculture. She has served as a trustee and volunteer for the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village. Born and raised on a dairy farm, Talley has a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Delaware.

Rural Development

Theresa Greenfield has been appointed RD State Director for Iowa

Theresa Greenfield is a committed public servant with a career focused on community development, housing, and real estate. She grew up on a small family farm outside the small town of Bricelyn, Minnesota and graduated with a degree in design and human development from Minnesota State University Mankato. After graduation, Greenfield worked as an urban planner and real estate developer. She became president of the Iowa division of Rottlund Homes in 2007 and most recently served as president of Colby Interests, a real estate firm based in Des Moines, Iowa.

Armando Valdez has been appointed RD State Director for Colorado

A native of the San Luis Valley, Armando Valdez was raised on a farm and ranch near Capulin, Colorado. Most recently, Valdez worked as an Assistant Professor of Management and the Director of the Health Care Administration Program in the School of Business at Adams State University. He currently serves as a member of the Colorado State University System Board of Governors. During the Obama Administration, Valdez was appointed to Colorado’s FSA Executive Committee. He was appointed as executive chair of the committee in 2012 and served in that role until 2018. Valdez continue to operate the family farm and ranch he was raised on with his wife and children.

To view President Biden’s announcement on his intent to nominate USDA regional appointees, you may read: President Biden Announces Key Regional Appointments for USDA, SBA, EPA, and HHS