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Farm Programs deputy becomes Vilsack adviser

USDA Farm Service Agency Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs Brandon Willis has accepted a position as senior adviser to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, it was announced today.

Willis, who has served as deputy administrator since 2009, will advise Vilsack on Title I commodity programs and farm bill matters, said Michael Scuse, acting undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services.

USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Juan M. Garcia will begin serving as acting deputy administrator for farm programs, effective immedidately.

A 34-year veteran of the USDA, Garcia has served as the state executive director for Texas since 2009 and previously served as the agricultural program manager for the Farm Service Agency in that state. Before that, Garcia served as a district director in south Texas as well as east Texas, and had worked as county executive director in Nolan, Hidalgo and Cameron counties.

Garcia is a three-time recipient of the FSA Administrator’s Award for service to agriculture.

Garcia was raised on his family’s 500-acre farm in Lyford, Texas. He received a bachelor of science degree in animal science from Texas A&I in Kingsville (now Texas A&M University – Kingsville), and was recognized as the College of Agriculture’s 2010 Hall of Honors Alumnus.