The Obama Administration has announced three more appointments to offices that will be important to rural America. A South Dakota farmer, Dallas Tonsager, has been nominated to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development. Tonsager is 54 and he served two terms as president of the South Dakota Farmers Union. He was co-chair of Barack Obama’s rural advisory committee during the 2008 campaign; he was also appointed to the board of the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation by George Bush.
Federal Communications Commission commissioner Jonathan Adelstein has been nominated to head the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service. The RUS will handle the $2.5 billion set aside in the stimulus bill to help pay for rural broadband projects. His photo is above.
A former aide to North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad has been nominated to be USDA undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services. James Miller will be in charge of the Farm Service Agency, which distributes farm subsides, the Risk Management Agency, which handles crop insurance, and the Foreign Agricultural Services, which promotes U.S. products overseas. Miller is now chief of staff for the National Farmers Union.