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Larry Mitchell to head GIPSA

Larry Mitchell
Larry Mitchell (1999 photo)

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has named Lawrence “Larry” Mitchell, the former CEO of the American Corn Growers Association, as administrator of the Agriculture Department’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, a USDA source told The Hagstrom Report today.

Mitchell succeeds J. Dudley Butler, the controversial lawyer who resigned after the Obama administration weakened the rewrite of the rule governing the Packers and Stockyards Act.

Mitchell, who will begin his duties at GIPSA on Monday, has been a political appointee in the Obama administration as associate director of the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach.

He was deputy administrator for farm programs at the Farm Service Agency from 1997 to 2001 during the Clinton administration. He also served President Bill Clinton as legislative liaison while overseeing the Office of Public Affairs and the Office of the Executive Secretariat.

Mitchell is a fifth-generation farmer from north Texas, where he raised grains, cotton, hay, horses and cattle before starting to work in Washington in 1989.

In the private sector, Mitchell served as president of K Street Research as well as CEO of the American Corn Growers Association. Earlier he was vice president for government relations for the National Farmers Union and, as an independent consultant and writer on American farm issues, director of federal and state relations for the American Agriculture Movement and editor of the AAM Reporter.