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Obama Names Miller, Tonsager To Top USDA Posts

President Barack Obama chose Jim Miller to run the U. S. farm subsidy program and Dallas Tonsager as the top rural development official at the Agriculture Department, the White House said March 13.

Both appointments, as USDA undersecretary, require Senate confirmation. In late February, Obama selected Kathleen Merrigan for deputy secretary, the No. 2 job at USDA.

Miller, now chief of staff at the National Farmers Union, would have one of the largest portfolios at USDA. He would oversee U. S. farm subsidies, export programs and the Foreign Agriculture Service.

A farm policy veteran, Miller has served as a Senate Budget Committee analyst, an NFU economist, a wheat lobbyist and president of the National As sociat ion of Wheat Growers in 1987.

Tonsager, a board member at the Farm Credit Administration since 2004, was USDA’s state director for rural development in South Dakota during the Clinton era. He ran a centre on “value-added” agriculture products in South Dakota from 2002 to 2004.

Miller and Tonsager grew up on farms.

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