ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The former head of the Mid-Region Council of Governments has been appointed as the new state executive director for the Farm Service Agency in New Mexico.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Lawrence Rael's appointment on Monday.
The agency administers federal farm policy as laid out by Congress through a network of federal, state and county offices.
In New Mexico, the agency employs nearly 1,700 people and issues an average of more than $100 million each year in commodity, conservation, disaster and credit benefits to farmers and ranchers around the state.
A native New Mexican, Rael was the executive director of the Mid-Region Council of Governments for eight years. He also spent 12 years as chief administrative officer for the city of Albuquerque.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.