John Ferrell, a native of Iowa and graduate of Northwest Missouri State University, has been appointed deputy undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs at USDA.

In this position, Ferrell will help establish policies which enhance domestic and international marketing of U.S. agricultural products, ensure the health and care of animals and plants, and participate in setting national and international standards.

“John Ferrell has extensive experience in the development of agriculture policy, and he is a welcome addition to USDA where he will help advance our efforts to improve competition, transparency and fairness in the marketing of agricultural products,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

Ferrell most recently served as majority professional staff to Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. In this capacity he provided congressional oversight of implementation of the 2002 farm bill and contributed to development of the 2008 farm bill.

As a congressional staff member, Ferrell worked to facilitate new market initiatives and to develop new market opportunities for direct producer-to-consumer initiatives and to increase data, research and transition assistance to organic farmers.

Ferrell grew up on a hog, cattle, corn and soybean farm in Iowa. He holds bachelor’s degrees in agricultural science and horticulture from Northwest Missouri State University and a master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.