Dave White has been named chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

With approximately 12,000 employees and an annual budget in excess of $3 billion NRCS is the nation’s leading agency in conserving natural resources on private lands.

“Dave White’s extensive experience working with the NRCS and at the local, state and national levels is exactly what we need during this time of economic uncertainty and renewal,” said Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack. “Dave’s expertise and advice will be particularly valuable as we implement the 2008 farm bill and work to achieve President Obama’s goals for renewing America and combating global climate change.”

Established in 1935 as the Soil Conservation Service, NRCS emphasizes voluntary, science-based conservation and technical assistance, incentive-based programs, and partnership conservation at the local level.

White is a career conservationist with NRCS. He has provided technical and management expertise in Missouri, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Montana, where he served as state conservationist from 2002 to 2008.

White also served in the Senate Agriculture Committee where he helped craft the Conservation Title for both the 2002 and 2008 farm bills. He also served on the White House Task Force for Livable Communities during the Clinton administration.

White was named acting chief of NRCS on Jan. 21.