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Senate approves Gooden for USDA rural role


The U.S. Senate recently confirmed Dr. Basil Gooden as the Under Secretary for Rural Development at the USDA, a move warmly welcomed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Dr. Gooden's confirmation is seen as a testament to his long-standing commitment and impactful work in rural development, including affordable housing, economic growth, and community advancement. 

Under his leadership, the USDA's Rural Development sector has seen significant contributions to rural America, from boosting meat and poultry processing capacities to enhancing broadband connectivity through the ReConnect program. These initiatives have laid the foundation for sustainable development and improved living standards in rural areas. 

Prior to his confirmation, Dr. Gooden served as the Director of State Operations for Rural Development, where he effectively managed the department's state-level leadership and ensured the equitable distribution of USDA investments. His expertise and leadership are expected to continue driving the department's mission to support economic opportunities, job creation, and a better quality of life for rural Americans. 

The transition period saw commendable leadership from Roger Glendenning and Farah Ahmad, whose efforts have set a high bar for Rural Development's future. With Dr. Gooden at the helm, the USDA is poised to further its mission in rural America, enhancing its role as "the People's Department" and solidifying its commitment to agricultural and rural prosperity under the guidance of the Biden-Harris Administration.

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