Written by David Castellon
Aubrey Bettencourt has taken over the reigns as the new executive director of the US Department of Agriculture’s California Farm Service Agency.
Bettencourt, of Hanford, had been the executive director of the California Water Alliance for more than eight years, until the Trump administration selected her for the USDA posting, which she began on Monday.
The Hanford-based Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan organization working to achieve short-term and long-term solutions to California’s water problems.
Additionally, Bettencourt had managed Bettencourt Farms, overseeing the business operations, including water and land management. It wasn’t immediately clear if she had surrendered that position upon accepting the federal appointment.
The state FSA, based in Davis, administers USDA farm disaster programs and programs to provide federally-subsidized business and emergency loans to farmers and ranchers.
“FSA continues to conserve natural resources and also provides credit to agricultural producers who are unable to receive private, commercial credit, including special emphasis on beginning, underserved and women farmers and ranchers,” a press release from the agency states.
“… Bettencourt will use her leadership experience to oversee FSA programs in a customer-focused manner to ensure a safe, affordable, abundant and nutritious food supply for consumers.”