Scott Biggs and Lee Denney Named to Top USDA Posts in Oklahoma by USDA Secretary Sonny PerdueSun, 05 Nov 2017 07:37:24
Late Friday, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the lineup of State Directors for FSA and the Rural Development Agency across the US. Included in that announcement were former State Lawmakers Scott Biggs of Chickasha to be the Oklahoma Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency in Oklahoma and Dr. Lee Denney of Cushing to become the State Director for the USDA Rural Development in Oklahoma. Click or tap here to review the entire list announced by the USDA on Friday afternoon.
USDA's release explained the importance of the State Level appointments- "FSA State Directors help implement U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policies in planning, organizing, and administering FSA programs in their respective states. They are also responsible for running the day-to-day activities of the state FSA office. Similarly, RD State Directors work to help improve the economy and quality of life in rural America."
“These state directors will help ensure that USDA is offering the best customer service to our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and agricultural producers across the country,” Secretary Perdue said. “FSA and RD both play a critical role in helping the people of agriculture, and are able to connect with people in their home states. They are the initial points of contact for millions of our USDA customers. Our goal is to help rural America prosper, and these state leaders will be of great assistance in that task.”
Earlier this year- Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) worked with state agricultural leaders to make recommendations to the Trump Administration for these posts- and on Saturday, they praised the President’s announcement of Denney and Biggs to be the top USDA officials in Oklahoma.
“Scott Biggs is a great choice to serve as Farm Service Agency State Director,” said Inhofe. “Throughout his tenure in the state legislature, Biggs has been a committed advocate against unnecessary regulations against the farming community,” Inhofe said. “I also applaud the selection of Lee Denney to lead the Oklahoma Rural Development state office. Her longstanding service to Oklahoma, particularly in our more rural communities, will be of great value to her well in the new role. Given the importance of the USDA Farm Service Agency and Rural Development Office in Oklahoma, I am confident they will work to promote agriculture, enhance rural economic development and support disaster relief efforts. I congratulate them both and look forward to working with them in their new capacity in support of Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers.”
“I am pleased the Administration filled these vital positions that serve Oklahoma’s diverse agricultural and rural communities,” said Lankford. “Lee and Scott are the right candidates to faithfully serve the agriculture and rural development communities; I am grateful for their willingness to serve our state in this capacity.”
Denney resides in Cushing, OK. Denney received Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University. Denney served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives for 12 years and is currently teaching in the veterinary technology program at the Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City campus. In 2017, Denney received the Oklahoma Veterinary Medical Association Veterinarian of the Year award. The Rural Development state director sets priorities and administers USDA-RD programs at the state level. The programs include housing, community facilities loans and grants, and emergency community assistance water grants.
Biggs lives in Chickasha, OK and served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He attended the University of Oklahoma School of Law and attended Oklahoma State University and received a degree in Agricultural Economics. Biggs’ professional background includes work in agriculture and rural development. The Farm Services Agency state director runs USDA-FSA programs at the state level. The programs are agricultural and conservation and range from commodity programs and disaster assistance for farms and ranches to conservation assistance and incentives.
Biggs abruptly resigned immediately from his House District 51 seat on Thursday of this past week- saying only he was taking a federal appointment- and that was a similar case to the person that Perdue named as the State Executive Director in Kansas- wheat producer David Schemm, who resigned less than a week ago from his elected role as President of the National Association of Wheat Growers.
Kansas Senator had praise for the former NAWG President- you can read his comments by clicking here.
At least one Oklahoma ag group quickly praised Biggs for being named to the USDA post. In comments provided to the Oklahoma Farm Report- American Farmers & Ranchers hailed the appointment of Scott Biggs as state executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency for Oklahoma. “The USDA has made a great choice in selecting Scott Biggs as the new FSA executive director,” said Terry Detrick, AFR president. “Biggs will use his background in agriculture and the legal system to serve Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers. We can’t think of a better choice.”
Earlier this year AFR presented Biggs with the organizations’ Agriculture Advocacy award. After receiving the award, Biggs said “I am extremely grateful to receive an award for doing something I love, advocating for agriculture.”
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