Isgar is new director of Colorado’s Office of Rural Development
DENVER— Today Senator Jim Isgar (D-Hesperus) announced he is leaving the Colorado Senate to join the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Colorado State Director for Rural Development. Senator Isgar is one of the longest serving Senators and his resignation will take effect when Isgar starts his new position with the USDA in a couple of weeks.
“After many years working for Colorado, I’m excited at the opportunity to continue that work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” said Sen. Isgar. “As a resident of a rural area these issues touch me very deeply. I’m happy that I will be able to continue to work for Colorado, rebuild and revitalize our rural economy, and improve the lives of every American every day. I want to maintain the vitality of rural America– that’s where the strength of this country has always been and that’s where our strength will continue to be.”
“I’m so proud of Senator Isgar and his new position in the Department of Agriculture,” said Senate President Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont). “With the loss of Senator Isgar we are losing a great mind, a wonderful representative of the people, and an expert in many areas of state government, including water issues. While we are happy for his new endeavors, he will be greatly missed in the Senate.”
A lifelong rancher, Sen. Isgar represented the Western Slope well. He is the Chair of the Agriculture Committee on Agriculture, Chairs the Permanent Legislative Water Review Committee, and was known as the Capitol’s senior authority on water issues. Senator Isgar’s term was up in 2010.
Senator Isgar’s resignation follows the resignations of two other Democratic Senators. In May, Senate President Peter Groff accepted a position with President Obama’s administration as the Director for the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Center in the Office of the Secretary of Education. Senator Jennifer Veiga also left the Senate in May for personal reasons.
USDA press release:
Forwarding Release from USDA sent June 30, 2009
Contact: USDA Office of Communication 202-720-4623
Obama Administration Names Jim Isgar to Serve as State Director for Rural Development in Colorado
WASHINGTON, June 30, 2009 – The Obama Administration today announced that Jim Isgar will serve as Colorado State Director for Rural Development at the USDA.
“Jim Isgar will be an important advocate on behalf of rural communities throughout the state and help administer the valuable programs and services provided by the USDA that can enhance their economic success,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Isgar is currently a Colorado State Senator and chairs the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee. He served as President of the Board of Agriculture for the State of Colorado and has policy experience on energy, healthcare, water research and rural economic issues. Isgar has worked on water conservancy efforts for Colorado and is currently a member of several local boards that focus on the issue. Since 1976, he has managed his family farm with his son.
Rural Development administers and manages over 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and facility programs as laid out by Congress through a network of 6,100 employees located in 500 national, state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of over $114 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
The USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture and natural resources and touches the life of every American. Reflecting President Obama’s commitment to expanding economic opportunities in rural America, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the USDA are working to enhance availability of broadband, promote the development of renewable energy, to conserve, maintain and improve our natural resources and environment, and promote a sustainable, safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply.