U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Names Robert Paquin Of Shelburne To Head USDA’s Farm Service Agency In Vermont

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Thursday appointed Robert Paquin of Shelburne as State Executive Director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency for Vermont. Paquin is a longtime policy aide to Vermont’s senior U.S. Senator, Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who recommended Paquin for the post. Leahy also is the most senior member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and a former chair of the panel, which oversees USDA.

The Farm Service Agency administers farm commodity, crop insurance, credit, environmental conservation and emergency assistance programs for farmers.

Leahy said, “Bob Paquin is superbly qualified to be USDA’s hands-on, go-to presence for Vermont’s agriculture community.   I am delighted that he will continue to apply his skills and knowledge in ways that will tangibly help farmers and communities throughout Vermont.”

A native of Franklin County, Paquin earned bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Vermont and did post-graduate research at the London School of Economics. He has also served on the University of Vermont’s College of Agriculture Advisory Board for several years.

Paquin worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant before returning to Vermont where he has worked for many years with the agricultural and conservation community. He was actively involved in the 1985, 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills and has worked with Leahy in drafting several pieces of legislation enacted into law addressing agriculture, forestry, water quality and related issues.

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