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U.S. Agriculture Secretary fills USDA leadership position for MS

Photo courtesy of the Office of U.S. Senator Thad Cochran.

U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker said they are confident agriculture and rural development needs in Mississippi will be well served with the appointments of Bobby Carson of Marks and John Rounsaville of Madison to lead U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies in the state.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue late Friday appointed Carson to be the Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, while Rounsaville was named Rural Development State Director. Previously, Cochran and Wicker recommended Carson and Rounsaville to Perdue.

“The Farm Service Agency and Rural Development offices provide important services to farmers and rural communities throughout Mississippi,” said Cochran. “I am confident Bobby Carson and John Rounsaville will lead these offices ably and with distinction.  Both of them understand the needs, challenges, and priorities in our state.”

Carson and Rounsaville held the same positions with FSA and Rural Development, respectively, during the President George W. Bush administration.

“The people of Mississippi deserve strong leadership from people who understand their needs,” said Wicker.  “Bobby Carson and John Rousaville have demonstrated they have the experience and the skills necessary to advocate for Mississippi’s agricultural producers and spearhead rural development and infrastructure projects that will benefit all Mississippians.”

As the FSA State Executive Director, Carson will assist in policy development and in administering and directing programs as part of the day-to-day operations of the FSA in Mississippi.

Carson, who served as FSA director from 2004 to 2009, is a long-time farmer and real estate broker in the Delta.  He has also served on numerous agriculture, conservation, and financial organizations.

Rounsaville will be responsible for administering USDA Rural Development programs and for setting priorities particular to the rural needs of Mississippi.

Rural development programs cover a broad range of issues, among them are economic development, business and cooperative services, utilities, and housing.

Rounsaville previously managed the Rural Development office from 2006-2007.

He is currently vice president for strategic services at Waggoner Engineering, Inc. in Jackson.  He has been deputy staff judge advocate for the 186th Air Refueling Wing of the Mississippi Air National Guard since 2013.  He was also a policy advisor for former Governor Haley Barbour and deputy chief of staff to former Congressman Chip Pickering.

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