Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ben Thomas, Chief of Staff, USDA Farm and Foreign Ag Services

Ben Thomas LL.M. Program in Agricultural and Food Law USDA Chief of Staff FFAS
At the end of December, 2014, LL.M. alumnus Ben Thomas joined the USDA as Chief of Staff for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.

Farm and Foreign Agricultural  Services

Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services "helps to keep America's farmers and ranchers in business as they face the uncertainties of weather and markets."  Agencies within Farm and Foreign Services include:
  • Farm Service Agency (FSA), the agency that  implements agricultural policy, administers credit and loan programs, and manages conservation, commodity, disaster and farm marketing programs through a national network of offices;
  • Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the agency that develops foreign market access for U.S. products, building new markets and improving the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace; and, 
  • Risk Management Agency (RMA), the agency that provides coverage through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, promoting national welfare by improving the economic stability of agriculture.

Before joining USDA, Ben served as Senior Advisor and Counsel to Senator John Walsh, where he was responsible for agriculture, telecommunication, and trade issues. Ben previously served as Legislative Assistant to Senator Max Baucus. As Mr. Baucus’ lead negotiator on the 2014 Farm Bill, Ben played a key role in development of the new farm programs. He also worked at USDA in various capacities at the Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency.

Ben received his B.A. from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, his Juris Doctor from Washington University in St. Louis, and his LL.M. in Agricultural and Food Law from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He was raised on a family farm outside of Morton, Texas, where his father and brother still farm.

We are proud of the work Ben has done in Washington and wish him well in this new and important position at USDA. Congratulations, Ben.

No comments: