JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Immediate past director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture Richard Fordyce has been nominated as Missouri’s state executive director of the Farm Service Agency by President Donald Trump.
The Farm Service Agency is the state-level USDA executive arm tasked with implementing programs and policies established in D.C. at the state and county levels. Each state has a politically-appointed executive director.
Fordyce served as a leader in Missouri agriculture for over two decades between the Missouri Farm Bureau (MFB) and as director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture from 2013-2017, until he was replaced with Chris Chinn by Gov. Eric Greitens.
“Richard Fordyce has been a leading advocate for Missouri farmers and ranchers his entire career,” Blake Hurst, MFB president said. “He knows what is important to Missouri farmers, having served 17 years as his county Farm Bureau president and as immediate past Missouri Director of Agriculture. Richard has been a pleasure to work with for many years, and as Missouri’s FSA Director he will fulfill Secretary Perdue’s mission to put customer service first. Richard is well-known to farm leaders across all parts of Missouri and will be a strong partner in this new role.”
The Fordyce nomination also comes with the announcement of the nomination of Jeff Case to be Missouri’s state director of USDA Rural Development, a state-based federal agency tasked with economic improvement, which was also applauded by Hurst.
“Jeff Case is an excellent choice to serve as Missouri’s Director of Rural Development,” Hurst said. “I have known Jeff for many years and am glad to have a Rural Development Director who clearly understands the challenges rural Missourians face every day. As an active farmer with business experience and an outstanding personal reputation, Jeff has become a recognized leader in Missouri agriculture and will be a trusted voice for Missouri’s rural communities.”
USDA Rural Development has a $86 billion loan portfolio.
The Missouri Soybean Association applauded the appointments.
“It is outstanding to see the Secretary of Agriculture’s announcement of new leaders for Missouri’s FSA and Rural Development efforts,” said Matt McCrate, president of the Missouri Soybean Association and a soybean farmer from Cape Girardeau. “Richard and Jeff have been great supporters of Missouri farmers and of building a bright future for our state throughout their careers in agriculture, and we look forward to continuing strong partnerships with them in their new roles with USDA.”
Rachael Herndon was the editor at The Missouri Times and also produced This Week in Missouri Politics, published Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosted the #MoLeg podcast. She joined The Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.