WASHINGTON — Five U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) employees were sworn in as Foreign Service officers today during a ceremony at USDA headquarters in Washington. The new officers will begin their Foreign Service careers serving as agricultural attachés at U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions across the globe.
“Our attachés are the eyes, ears, and voice for U.S. farmers and ranchers in foreign countries around the world. Since coming onboard at USDA nine months ago, I’ve traveled to 11 countries and have personally experienced the exceptional work they do to protect and advance American agriculture’s interests abroad,” said USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney. “I’m looking forward to working with these new officers as we continue promoting U.S. agricultural products and breaking down trade barriers. With trade one of USDA’s top priorities, their job has never been more critical than it is today.”
The FAS staff includes approximately 140 Foreign Service officers posted around the world, monitoring and reporting on global agricultural production and trade matters, identifying export opportunities, facilitating trade, working to enhance food security and supporting U.S. foreign policy objectives.
“Joining the Foreign Service is a competitive and rigorous process and these five individuals have risen to the challenge, demonstrating that they have what it will take to successfully represent the interests of American agriculture throughout the world,” said FAS Administrator Ken Isley.
The officers sworn in today are:
- Ryan Bedford, from Ogden, Utah, assigned to the FAS Office of Agricultural Affairs (OAA) in Manila, Philippines;
- Barrett Bumpas, from Jacksboro, Texas, assigned to the FAS Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Tokyo;
- Rhiannon Elms, from Martinsburg, W. Va., assigned to the ATO in Mexico City;
- Lindsay Malecha, from Fort Worth, Texas, assigned to the ATO in Guangzhou, China; and
- Evgenia Ustinova, from Syracuse, N.Y., assigned to the OAA in Brasilia, Brazil.
More information about FAS and its work to advance U.S. agricultural interests around the globe is available at www.fas.usda.gov.
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