WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The USDA has announced the appointment of Constance C. Jackson as the associate administrator of USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.

"I am extremely pleased to have someone of Constance's caliber joining our team," said Michael Yost, administrator of the FAS. "Trade is crucial to U.S. agriculture, and Constance will bring a sense of energy to our efforts to expand economic opportunities for our farmers and ranchers in the global marketplace."

As FAS associate administrator, Jackson will be instrumental in helping the agency manage its market development programs and support U.S. agriculture in both the negotiations of new trade agreements and their enforcement after they go into effect.

Jackson has a diverse background in international trade, agricultural policy and economic analysis. Since 2000, she has been the vice president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation's Department of Agricultural Ecology. In addition, she served as the organization's trade specialist guiding international study programs, and coordinated multilateral, bilateral and regional trade activities.

Jackson previously directed regulatory affairs for the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, and worked in the Agriculture Extension Office at Ohio State University. In 1992, she earned a master's of science degree in agricultural economics from Ohio State University.

SOURCE: USDA news release.