Dave White, acting chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) since Jan. 21, has been named chief. With 12,000 employees and an annual budget of $3 billion, NRCS is the nation’s leading agency in conserving natural resources on private lands.

White is a career conservationist with NRCS, and provided technical and management expertise in Missouri, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Montana, where he served as state conservationist from 2002 to 2008. He also served in the Senate Ag Committee where he helped craft the Conservation Title for both the 2002 and 2008 farm bills, and on the White House Task Force for Livable Communities during the Clinton administration.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said White’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.”