November 07, 2017
By Debra Davis
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced David McCurdy and Chris Beeker Alabama state directors for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Rural Development (RD), respectively. Both men serve as appointees of President Donald J. Trump.
McCurdy, of Pike Road, began his career with FSA in 1987 and served in various roles throughout the agency, including county executive director and district director. The Lowndes County native is involved in his family’s third-generation cattle, row crop and timber farm.
FSA state directors help implement U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policies in planning, organizing and administering programs in their respective states. They also run day-to-day activities of the state FSA office in Montgomery.
The FSA administers farm commodity loan and purchase programs, farm ownership and operating loans and the conservation reserve program. It also provides disaster assistance and administrative support to the Commodity Credit Corporation, which funds most commodity and export programs of the USDA. Programs in the FSA include farm loans, conservation, disaster assistance, energy and financial management.
Beeker, of Tuscaloosa, is Alabama’s RD director. He grew up on a catfish and cattle farm in Greene County. His experience includes working on the family farm and other businesses.
Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell said the state’s largest farm organization welcomes the appointments of McCurdy and Beeker.
“Alabama, and particularly rural Alabama, is poised for growth,” Parnell said. “FSA and RD both play important roles in the future of Alabama agriculture and improvements to our rural economies. We look forward to working with David and Chris as they implement programs through USDA that will achieve both those goals.”
RD offers loans, grants and loan guarantees to support essential services such as housing, economic development, health care, first responder services and equipment, and water, electric and communications infrastructure.
McCurdy and Beeker were among 86 state directors Perdue announced Nov. 3. The secretary said state directors will help ensure USDA offers the best customer service to farmers, ranchers, foresters and agricultural producers across the country.
“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,” Perdue said. “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.”