Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has announced the appointment of Paul Gutierrez as the New Mexico State Director for USDA Rural Development.

Gutierrez, from Magdalena, N.M., has served since March of 2004 as the deputy assistant secretary for civil rights at USDA, serving as the principal advisor on civil rights and related laws affecting the administration of USDA programs. Gutierrez has also served as the assistant deputy administrator for USDA's farm programs and as the state executive director for USDA's Farm Service Agency in the state of New Mexico.

Prior to joining USDA, Gutierrez served six years as the director of governmental affairs for New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau. In the 1990s, he served as a consultant to Farm Credit Services of New Mexico and was assistant vice-president of credit for the Production Credit Association of New Mexico.

Source: Government Release