WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Assistant Secretary of Congressional Relations for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Linda Strachan today announced the appointment of Bruce Blanton to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Congressional Relations.

"Bruce brings with him a wealth of Congressional knowledge and experience," said Strachan. "His understanding and appreciation for the legislative process will serve this office well, not to mention the immense institutional knowledge he has of USDA from serving for 7 years."

Blanton worked as a staffer for Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) and served as a senior analyst for Agriculture on the Budget Committee in the late 1980's. In this position he was responsible for legislation affecting the Agriculture budget function of the federal government, which at the time, accounted for about $16 billion in spending annually.

Blanton served as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture from 1989 to 1991. In this position he assisted with developing and implementing the Department's annual budget, requiring broad knowledge of the entire Department's programs and operations. From 1991 to 1993 Blanton served as Special Assistant to the USDA Under Secretary for International Affairs and Commodity Programs.

Blanton comes to the Office of Congressional Relations after serving as Special Assistant to the Administrator of the Farm Service Agency the last 3 years. In this position he worked with directly with the Administrator and other agency leaders in administering the farm commodity, disaster, procurement, loan, and conservation programs.

Before returning to USDA in 2003, Blanton worked for a decade in the private sector, first for 4 years as the Executive Director of the National Renders Association and for 6 years for Moyer Packing Company.

Blanton is married with two children and lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

SOURCE: USDA news release.