Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

South Dakota rancher tapped to head USDA Farm Service Agency

Intertribal Agriculture Council, Kate Byers, Western Horseman
Zach Ducheneaux, who lives and ranches on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, will lead USDA's Farm Service Agency.

WASHNGTON, DC – Zach Ducheneaux has made history as the first Native American to be named Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator.

The Biden Administration on Feb. 19 announced Ducheneaux’s appointment to lead FSA, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Established in 1994, the FSA is responsible for providing loan guarantees and disaster relief to ag producers and rural citizens, as well as implementing laws and farm conservation throughout the United States.

Zach Ducheneaux

Prior to his appointment to FSA, he served as the executive director of the Intertribal Agriculture Council, where he used agriculture as an economic development tool in Indian Country. The Intertribal Agriculture Council is the largest, longest-standing Native American agriculture organization in the United State, representing all Federally Recognized Tribes and serving 80,000 Native American producers.

Ducheneaux has spent his career educating people about the critical role of improved food systems, value-added agriculture, and foreign exports to respond to the enduring economic and social challenges in production agriculture.

He also serves on the board of directors for Project H3LP!, a nonprofit founded by his family to benefit his local community by providing life lessons and therapy through horsemanship.

Ducheneaux and his family run DX Ranch on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.

In related news, Gloria Montaño Greene has been named  Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC). She is a former State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency in Arizona from 2014-2017. With FSA in Arizona, Montaño Greene led implementation of the 2013 Farm Bill programs across the state. Currently, she serves as Deputy Director for Chispa Arizona, a program of the League of Conservation Voters focused on the empowerment of Latino voices in Arizona on issues including energy, public lands, and democracy access. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona.

“We are honored to have professionals of the caliber of Gloria and Zach join our team,” said Katharine Ferguson, Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary.  “With their leadership of USDA farm and conservation programs, we will create new market opportunities and streams of income for farmers, ranchers and producers that address climate change and environmental challenges, strengthen local and regional food systems, and lead the world in food, fiber and feed production for export.”

She added, “Together, we are committed to equity across the Department, removing barriers to access to all USDA programs, and reassuring all current and future producers that USDA is here for you.”

Both appointments began on Monday, Feb. 22.

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