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May 23, 2022
President Biden appoints rural development state director for California

President Joe Biden appointed Maria Herrera as USDA state director of rural development for California on May 19.

Maria Gallegos Herrera is a proud daughter of farmworker parents who grew up in the rural agricultural communities in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley. She joined the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019 as the Central California deputy regional director of external affairs and in July of 2021 was promoted to Central California regional director.

Herrera previously served as a community development manager at Self-Help Enterprises, a nationally recognized community development organization dedicated to working with low-income families to build and sustain healthy communities. She previously held positions at the Community Water Center and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Throughout her career, Herrera has tackled water contamination and shortages, improved access to government and worked to create resilient and sustainable communities through relationship building, community organizing, advocacy, legislation and technical assistance. Herrera also served on the California Water Commission from 2015 to 2019 and was the recipient of the 2019 Rachel’s Network Inaugural Catalyst Award.

California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross applauded the appointment of Herrera.

“I want to offer my most sincere congratulations to Maria on her appointment,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “She is a thoughtful, dedicated champion for our rural communities and farmworker families, and I know she will work tirelessly to bring investment in infrastructure and economic development to our most underserved rural areas.”






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