Former US representative and state school superintendent Bob Etheridge, has been named Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency for North Carolina, under USDA. Etheridge says he’s looking forward to his new role:
“I have had a chance to work with farm policy from 30,000 feet in Washington for a number of years. And having grown up on a small farm in NC, agriculture has surely changed. There are fewer people growing the food and fiber and one of the challenges for those of us who work with ag policy and with farmer and ranchers is to remind people that the person who lives on the cul-de-sac is very closely linked to the person on the country road. They are linked to the farm more than they know.”
This is role is a natural progression in Etheridge’s career:
“I have the chance to work with some of the nicest people in the world. The late Jim Graham told me years ago when I was State Superintendent of Schools, he said ‘Let me remind you, a hungry child does not learn well.’ I remember that now. Its true for all of us. We still have people here at home who have food shortages, and our goal will be to produce the food and fiber and make sure that we as a nation make sure that we provide it for every American.”
Etheridge mentioned the 30,000 foot view, but he has plans for the street view as well:
“Part of that will be an outreach to develop education. Secretary Vilsack has indicated that he wants us to reach out to a number of other groups to work together. I want to make sure we service as best we can for those who grow food and fiber.”
Executive Director of Farm Service Agency for North Carolina, Bob Etheridge.