Monday, May 14, 2012
USDA Taps Lawrence Rael for Top Post in New Mexico
May 14, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the appointment for State Executive Director (SED) of the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) in New Mexico. The secretary has tapped Lawrence Rael to serve the Obama Administration in this capacity.
The Farm Service Agency administers federal farm policy as laid out by Congress through a network of federal, state and county offices. FSA programs are designed to improve the economic stability of the agricultural industry and help agricultural producers adjust production to meet demand. Economically, the desired result of these programs is a steady price range for agricultural commodities for both producer and consumer.
As the State Executive Director for the New Mexico FSA, Rael will oversee all aspects of federal farm program delivery for an agency that employs nearly 1700 people and on average, issues more than $100 million annually in commodity, conservation, disaster and credit benefits to farmers and ranchers across the state.
“FSA plays a vital role in the economic viability of rural America. As the State Executive Director in New Mexico, I have a significant responsibility to insure the Agency is making wise use of taxpayer dollars and that our employees are provided the fiscal and human resources necessary to efficiently and effectively deliver our programs to the state’s agricultural producers,” said Rael.
Rael is a native New Mexican and life-long public servant. Rael served as the Executive Director for the Mid-Region Council of Governments (MRCOG) for eight years. While holding this position he was responsible for the comprehensive planning and development programs for twenty-seven local governments in the region. Prior to working with MRCOG, he spent twelve years as Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Albuquerque. While there, he coordinated the City of Albuquerque’s purchase of the Elena Gallegos land grant to preserve the area along the base of the Sandia Mountains, helped expand the Petroglyph National Monument, and preserve wetlands in the Rio Grande Valley. Rael also served as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Jeff Bingaman, Acting Deputy Secretary for the New Mexico Transportation Department, and State Program Director for New Mexico Employment Security Dept. He received his degree from the University of New Mexico.
Rael and his wife Kim have three children and reside in Los Ranchos.
Congratulations! It's really great to have a Los Ranchos long-time native heading up this important post-especially one whose family I grew up with! Our area has changed by city dwellers moving here, then fighting to take away what made us so great-farm animals, horses, etc. Mr. Rael's been in the area as long as my mom & dad-who has worked with him in the past. Again, Congrats-I can't imagine a better person for this job!
Posted by: Robert | May 14, 2012 7:02:42 PM
Good news all around!
Posted by: Ellen Wedum | May 15, 2012 7:43:54 AM
Where did I miss Lawrence's experience as an agricultual commodity producer?? Accomplishments are great, but those of us who have generations of ranching and farming experience and have volunteered to served on the FSA County Committee (30 + years in my case)should be included in the selection of appointees of agencies that represent our industry.Dirt under the fingernails represent more actual involvment than shiney seats of beurocratic britches!!
Posted by: Gregorio E. Laumbach | May 16, 2012 7:42:58 PM