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Biden tabs Greenfield to lead USDA Rural Development in Iowa

Biden tabs Greenfield to lead USDA Rural Development in Iowa

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Theresa Greenfield, then Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, walks out of her bus during a stop at Bayside Bistro Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Davenport.

Former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield has been named state director of the USDA Rural Development in Iowa.

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced his intent to appoint Greenfield to lead the agency’s efforts in Iowa to improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. State directors lead offices that offer grants, loans and loan guarantees to help create jobs and support economic development and essential services.

He also announced Matt Russell of Lacona as the USDA state executive director for Iowa.

Greenfield, 58, who grew up on a southern Minnesota farm and now lives in Des Moines, will lead the agency that has 11 offices across Iowa to serve about 1.3 million rural residents. The state office is in Des Moines and area offices are in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

Greenfield won a five-way primary to run against Republican Sen. Joni Ernst in 2020, losing 52 percent to 45 percent. Her background is in community development, housing and real estate. She and her husband, Steve, have four children.

Russell, 51, and his husband, Patrick Standley, operate Coyote Run Farm, which features grass-finished beef, specialty crops and emerging carbon farming projects. He has been an advocate for social justice, in ministry for 10 years and 16 years in economic development sustainability. Since 2018, Russell has led Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, a statewide climate action organization.

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