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Dr. Basil Gooden confirmed as USDA rural development leader
USAgNet - 02/28/2024

Dr. Basil Gooden has been confirmed by the Senate as the Under Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack expressed his full confidence in Dr. Gooden's ability to steer the Rural Development mission area towards greater achievements.Vilsack highlighted Gooden's extensive experience in promoting affordable housing, community growth, and economic prosperity across rural America.

Dr. Gooden, known for his dynamic approach and dedication, has played a pivotal role in various initiatives under the Biden-Harris Administration, such as expanding meat and poultry processing, extending high-speed internet access, and fostering clean energy and water projects. His leadership has been instrumental in delivering significant advancements in infrastructure and quality of life for rural communities.

Serving since July 2021 as Director of State Operations for Rural Development, Gooden has led a network of 47 State Directors, ensuring the USDA's reach into every rural corner. He succeeds Xochitl Torres Small, now Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and is praised for his hands-on involvement and effective leadership.

Secretary Vilsack also commended the interim leadership of Roger Glendenning and Farah Ahmad, who have kept the Rural Development mission on track during the transition. With a strong team in place, the USDA looks forward to making strides in economic opportunity, job creation, and community improvement for rural Americans, reflecting the USDA's commitment to serving "the People's Department."


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