WASHINGTON--Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman Oct. 15 announced the selection of Thomas Hunt Shipman as deputy under secretary for farm and foreign agricultural services.

"Hunt brings a great deal of experience to this position," said Veneman. "He has a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the programs and issues that are important in this critical position."

As deputy, Shipman will provide leadership to agencies and programs within the Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services mission. He will offer general direction of programs administered by the Farm Service Agency and the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Risk Management Agency and the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, and the Foreign Agricultural Service. These agencies are comprised of over 18,000 employees and administer over $34 billion in U. S. Department of Agricultre programs.

Shipman, who has been advising Veneman at USDA since January, previously worked for U.S. Senator Thad Cochran on two separate occasions. Most recently, Shipman served as Senator Cochran's legislative assistant for four years advising him on agricultural, environmental, and foreign policy issues and appropriations for the Departments of Agriculture, Interior, and State and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

It was the legislative assistant position for Senator Cochran that brought Shipman to Washington in 1992 where he advised the Senator on issues associated with natural resources, environment, food and drug regulation, forestry, and appropriations for the Departments of Interior and Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency until 1995.

In between his two terms of duty with the Senator's staff, Shipman worked as a staff member from 1995 to 1997 for the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and related agencies of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Shipman is a native of Dyersburg, TN. He received his bachelor of science degree in agribusiness in May 1992 from Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS, where he served as the graduate assistant to the Dean of Agriculture and Home Economics that same year.

Shipman is a member of the Mississippi State University Hall of Fame and in 1998 he received the university's Alumni Achievement Award. He is married with three children.

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