USDA names Iowa Farm Service Agency committee members

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the names of five appointees to the Iowa Farm Service Agency State Committee yesterday. John Judge, Maria Vakulskas Rosmann, Matthew Russell, Richard Machacek, and Gary Lamb “will oversee the activities of the agency to include carrying out the state agricultural conservation programs, resolving appeals from the agriculture community and helping to keep producers informed about FSA programs.”

After the jump I’ve posted the USDA’s November 23 press release, which contains brief biographical information about the appointees. John Judge is the husband of Iowa Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge. She mentioned at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner on Saturday that they just celebrated their 40th anniversary.

I was happy to see two well-known voices from the sustainable agriculture community appointed to this USDA committee. Rosmann’s family runs a diverse organic farm and has been active with Practical Farmers of Iowa since the 1980s. I know Russell from his involvement in the Iowa Network for Community Agriculture, and I’ve also bought produce from his farm at the downtown Des Moines farmer’s market.

Congratulations to all the new Farm Service Agency State Committee members.

Obama Administration Names Appointees to USDA’s Farm Service Agency State Committee in Iowa

WASHINGTON, November 23, 2009 – The Obama Administration today announced the individuals who will serve on the Iowa Farm Service Agency State Committee. The State Committee members will oversee the activities of the agency to include carrying out the state agricultural conservation programs, resolving appeals from the agriculture community and helping to keep producers informed about FSA programs.

“These individuals will work with USDA to help farmers and ranchers build and maintain successful operations that produce the safe, nutritious food supply that America needs while spurring economic development in our nation’s rural communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “They bring the experience and passion necessary to help continue the Obama Administration’s efforts to rebuild and revitalize rural America.”

The individuals appointed to serve on this committee include:

John Judge (Chairperson)

Judge from West Des Moines Iowa, served as a Loan Collateral Inspector Appraiser for the State Resources Corp from 2000 to 2008. Judge also served as a State Senator from Iowa’s 46th District from 1998 to 2000 where he served on the Economic Development Appropriations. He spent four years in the United States Marines Corp and has owned and operated a livestock farm since 1970.

Maria Vakulskas Rosmann

Rosmann from Harlan, Iowa has owned Rosmann Family Farms since 1978.  She joins the Iowa FSA State Committee after serving as a panel member on the Organic Agriculture Research and Education Initiative under CSREES for two years.

Matthew Russell

Russell from Lacona, Iowa, served as the State Food Policy Coordinator in the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University before joining the Iowa FSA State Committee. He has co-owned and operated Coyote Run Farm since 2005 and was a Community Organizer for the Iowa Citizen Action Network from 2003 to 2006.

Richard Machacek

Machacek from Winthrop, Iowa, served two terms on the Judicial Nominating Commission for Iowa during Governor Vilsack’s Administration.  He also was Chair of Buchanan County Democratic Central Committee for five terms and a Super-Delegate in the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Machacek is the owner and operator of Machacek farms.

Gary Lamb

Lamb from Chelsea, Iowa, has 57 years of farming experience and served as President of the Iowa Farmers Union for 6 years. From 1984 to 1986 he served as the Agricultural Liaison for Senator [Harkin].  Lamb also served as Chairman of the Iowa FSA State Committee from 1992 to 2001.

USDA’s Farm Services Agency works to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural Americans. Some of the agency’s efforts include facilitating income support, disaster assistance and conservation programs, providing operating loans for the procurement of farm equipment, seed and fertilizer, as well as offering ownership loans to help new and veteran producers purchase a farm. FSA also works to procure various commodities to benefit low-income families through domestic food assistance programs.

The USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture and natural resources and touches the life of every American. Reflecting President Obama’s commitment to expanding economic opportunities in rural America, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the USDA are working to enhance availability of broadband, promote the development of renewable energy, to conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment, and promote a sustainable, safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply.

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  • Is this a paid position?

    Or do they serve as volunteers like many other boards and commissions throughout the state?

    I enjoy the comment that John Judge operates a livestock farm.  I recently talked to a guy whose brother rents that farm, John hasn’t operated a farm for many, many years.  Unless of course you count cashing the rent check as being the operator.  He does own the farm though, his daddy gave it to him.