Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns recognized 15 USDA career senior executives who received the 2005 President's Rank Award for exceptional long-term accomplishments.

"I'm grateful for the contributions of these dedicated men and women and congratulate them on their selection," said Johanns. "Their commitment to the people we serve has helped us maintain our status as the Peoples Department-a name first given to USDA by President Lincoln and a tradition carried on today by our dedicated public servants."

There are two categories of rank awards: Distinguished and Meritorious. Award winners are chosen through a rigorous selection process. They were nominated by the Secretary, evaluated by boards of private citizens, and approved by the President. The evaluation criteria focus on leadership and results. Each award recipient receives a cash award and a framed certificate signed by the President.

The 2005 President's Rank Award recipients are:

Distinguished Executive

Barry L. Carpenter, Agricultural Marketing Service, Deputy Administrator, Livestock & Seed Programs--For leading the development of the Livestock Mandatory Reporting regulation and for helping the Livestock and Seed Program to provide internationally recognized third-party audit and verification programs.

William J. Hudnall, Jr., Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Deputy Administrator, Marketing & Regulatory Programs-Business Services--For improving Information Technology procurement, saving the agency approximately $3 million; and supporting the development of an automated telework process and promoting it as a tool for recruitment and retention.

Gregory L. Parham, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Associate Chief Information Officer--For exceptional leadership in critical information technology executive positions, from leading the Department-wide Year 2000 conversion initiative to other cross-organizational responsibilities.

Distinguished Senior Professional

Ronald Fayer, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Research Zoologist--For his discoveries and contributions to biology, epidemiology, and control of three major parasitic diseases of livestock and humans: coccicidiosis, sarcocystosis, and cryptosporidiosis.

Meritorious Executives

James H. Bradley, ARS, Deputy Administrator for Administrative & Financial Management--For exemplary leadership to USDA's Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area by building a highly efficient and responsive consolidating administrative support services for REE's three component agencies.

Priscilla B. Carey, Office of Operations, Director--For outstanding leadership in managing over 3 million square feet of government-owned space; building a new facility to provide a safe and secure work location; renovating the 4th largest public building in the world- USDA's South Building; and becoming a recognized leader in emergency preparedness.

Joyce N. Fleischman, Office of the Inspector General, Deputy Inspector General (retired)--For extraordinary accomplishments as Acting Inspector General at the Departments of Interior, Transportation, and USDA. She set the direction for USDA's OIG focus on national security issues post 9/11, improving the way OIG does business, and helping develop OIG's approach to critical issues such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Loren D. Lange, Food Safety Inspection Service, Deputy Assistant Administrator--For his analyses that have served as a benchmark for agency science. His leadership built the foundation on which the FSIS has established itself worldwide as a public health regulatory agency.

Wilda H. Martinez, ARS, Area Director, North Atlantic Area--For her outstanding program leadership and management contributions to ARS and to the Nation's agriculture.

Cynthia Smith, APHIS, Deputy Administrator, Biotechnology Regulatory Services--For establishing a new regulatory program to address the field testing, movement and importation of genetically engineered organisms that are, or could be, plant pests. She helped develop a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement focused on Biotechnology Regulatory Services regulation of biotechnology.

Alejandro B. Thiermann, APHIS, Senior International Organization Coordinator--For leading efforts to forge cooperative relationships among foreign officials on agricultural trade and regulatory issues. His efforts led a shift in the agency's mission and culture from a focus on protection to a view of facilitating trade while protecting the U.S. agricultural economy.

Clyde Thompson, Associate Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights--For his instrumental role in establishing USDA's first Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights and in expanding USDA's civil rights program.

Lawrence Wachs, Office of Budget and Program Analysis, Associate Director--For outstanding innovation as a leader and for establishing the budgetary underpinnings for USDA's programs.

Meritorious Senior Professionals

Jerry Lee Hatfield, ARS, Supervisory Plant Pathologist--For developing a quantitative understanding of the impacts of farming systems on environmental quality.

Albert Rango, ARS, Research Hydrologist--For achieving international recognition for developing the field of hydrologic remote sensing and for transferring this knowledge to rangeland assessment and management.