President Biden appoints Fresno leader to head US Department of Agriculture post

Former councilman Blong Xiong has been chosen as the executive director of the USDA's Farm Service Agency in California.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno community leader will head the United States Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency in California.

On January 13, President Joe Biden appointed former councilman Blong Xiong as the executive director.

This past week was Xiong's first week leading the FSA, which implements federal agriculture policy and oversees several ag programs.

He said, right now, he's getting a better feel of the agency but knows there's a lot to get done.

"Making sure that we're getting the dollars that we need to help our agricultural industry, but also other service programs," said Xiong.

Xiong has over 20 years experience in community service, which includes serving on Fresno City Council, and most recently, the Asian Business Institute & Resource Center.

During that time, he's been able to help Asian farmers and business owners in the Valley.

He said he's excited to bring that experience to help all farmers in the state.

"Making sure that we are able to bring dollars and support and technical assistance to make sure that all of our farmers, whether they be larger or small, medium size, are having the type of support FSA offers," he said.

Xiong also sees an opportunity for the agency to continue growing, with California being so diverse in population and agriculture.

"I want to continue to be the people's department and work hard to reach out to our underserved, underrepresented communities to make sure that they have access and opportunities to the incredible programs that we have here," he said.

According to the Biden administration, Xiong's appointment, along with the other eight, are crucial in rebuilding the communities most impacted by the pandemic, the economy and climate change.

"They know that I'm committed and passionate about not only us here in the Central Valley, but in the entire state as well," Xiong said.

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