November 18, 2021

Contact: Christina Dexter, (816)738-5402
[email protected]
IFU Applauds Greenfield and Russell Appointments to USDA

NEVADA – Today, the White House announced that Matt Russell will be named United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency Executive Director in Iowa. Theresa Greenfield will be named USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa.  

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency implements agricultural policy, administers credit and loan programs, and manages conservation, commodity, disaster, and farm marketing programs in each U.S. State. Its mission is to equitably serve all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans. State Executive Directors oversee this work, ensuring the needs of local constituents are met and that USDA resources are distributed equitably and fairly.

Matt Russell, a 5th generation Iowa farmer, grew up on a 1,000-acre commodity and livestock farm. He now farms with his husband Patrick Standley near Lacona featuring retail agriculture and environmental stewardship. Russell’s off-farm career is built on advocating for social justice—the first decade training for and working in ministry and 16 years doing secular work in economic and environmental sustainability. Since April 2018 he’s been drawing on both backgrounds to lead Iowa Interfaith Power & Light, a statewide climate action organization. Under his leadership, Iowa IPL began empowering farmers to join other Iowans of faith and conscience to help solve the climate crisis. He earned an M.S. in Rural Sociology from Iowa State University; advanced food, agriculture, and rural development policy at the Drake University Agricultural Law Center; and served eight years on the Iowa FSA State Committee. Coyote Run Farm features grass-finished beef, specialty crops, and emerging carbon farming projects.

USDA’s Rural Development mission area is committed to helping 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.

Theresa Greenfield grew up on a small family farm outside a town of 500 during the 1980’s Farm Crisis. A committed public servant, Greenfield has focused her career on community development, housing, and real estate. She has worked with elected officials and community leaders at all levels of government to create strong, vibrant neighborhoods and hometowns. She is focused on bringing her professional and life experiences to the mission of strengthening the economy of rural Iowa.

“Matt Russell and Theresa Greenfield will be strong advocates for family farming and sustainable agriculture here in Iowa,” said Aaron Lehman, Iowa Farmers Union President. “The challenges faced by our farmers and by our rural communities are enormous but I am encouraged that President Biden has chosen two dedicated, experienced, and knowledgeable public servants to be Iowa leaders at the United States Department of Agriculture.””We know that we all must work together in order to truly pursue our rural values. We are excited to work with Matt and Theresa to help build vibrant and resilient farms and robust rural communities.”  # # #