A Gering, Neb., man will serve as the new USDA state executive director of the Farm Service Agency in Nebraska. On Dec. 29, President Joe Biden announced the appointment of John Berge, who is serving as general manager of the North Platte Natural Resources District, to his new post.
A western Nebraska native who grew up on a corn and wheat farm north of Lisco, Berge has served as the general manager of the North Platte NRD in Scottsbluff since 2013. In 2009, he was appointed White House liaison to the Department of Agriculture by President Barack Obama, where he was the principal liaison between the Executive Office of the President and the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture.
Subsequently, Berge was appointed the deputy and acting assistant secretary for congressional relations, where he managed all operations of that office. He was a member of the sub-Cabinet and Senior Policy Group, and coordinated all interactions with members of Congress and other elected officials and USDA officials. Berge also served as the deputy administrator for field operations at USDA-FSA, and as the executive director of the National Food and Agriculture Council at USDA.
Earlier in his career, Berge served as the executive director of the Western Nebraska Community College Foundation in Scottsbluff. Additionally, he served on the staffs of Nebraska U.S. Sens. Jim Exon, Bob Kerrey and Ben Nelson.
Berge is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, holds a certificate in climate change and energy from Harvard Kennedy School, and is completing a Master of Applied Science program in environmental studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Berge, his wife Kerri, son Theodore, and daughter Bridget live in Gering.
In his role as state executive director, Berge will oversee all of the work of FSA in the state, including implementation of agricultural policy; administering credit and loan programs; and managing conservation, commodity, disaster and farm marketing programs.
Other key regional leadership roles at USDA were also announced at the same time. Those included:
- Joe Aull, USDA state executive director, FSA, Missouri
- Kathleen Williams, USDA state director, Rural Development, Montana
- Dean Schamore, USDA state executive director, FSA, Kentucky
- Sarah Waring, USDA state director, Rural Development, Vermont and New Hampshire
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