Perdue appoints Brand to lead USDA Rural Development

By Erin Voegele | March 05, 2020

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Feb. 28 announced the appointment of Bette Brand to serve as USDA Rural Development Deputy. Brand replaces former Rural Development Deputy Donald “DJ” LaVoy following his retirement.

“DJ LaVoy is a true public servant and brought decades of leadership in economic development and affordable housing. We are appreciative of his service here at USDA and wish him nothing but the best as he heads into retirement,” Perdue said. “The mission of Rural Development to improve the economy and quality of life in rural America will continue to advance with Bette at the helm. Like President Trump, Bette’s drive and tenacity to fight for those living in rural areas and to increase rural prosperity is admirable. She is perfectly suited for this role.”

Brand most recently served as the administrator of Rural Development’s Rural Business Service agency. She began working at USDA following 35 years with Farm Credit of the Virginia’s where she served as chief advocate for the agriculture industry and rural businesses. She has also served on the Virginia Agribusiness Council, the Virginia Horse Council, the Virginia Cooperative Council, and the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

USDA Rural Development administers a wide range of programs, including the Advanced Biofuel Payment Program; the Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program; and the Rural Energy for America program.