Mar 27, 2023USDA welcomes new deputy administrator of the Specialty Crops Program
In an email to Specialty Crop Stakeholders, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service announced it has selected Christopher “Chris” Purdy as the new Deputy Administrator of the Specialty Crops Program (SCP).
“Chris is very familiar with SCP, having served for over 10 years in several key roles eventually becoming an Associate Deputy Administrator for the Program,” Bruce Summers, administrator for AMS, said in the email. “I’m excited to have him return to the program, and he brings with him a wealth of knowledge about not only AMS programs and services, but also issues important to the specialty crops industry. For the past five years Chris has served as the Associate Deputy Administrator in the Commodity Procurement Program, where he helped lead several initiatives important to the specialty crops industry and those that enjoy them, including several significant special purchase programs. These purchase programs helped industry and communities in need during supply and other disruptions caused by trade disputes and the pandemic.”
Along Purdy, the leadership team consists of Heather Pichelman and Ken Petersen, associate deputy administrators. “Heather is responsible for the USDA hemp production program, marketing orders & agreements, and research & promotion programs via the Market Development Division. Ken is responsible for inspection, grading, and audit services via the Inspection Division. Ken also oversees the Market News Division,” noted the email.
“I am delighted and honored to accept the position as SCP’s Deputy Administrator,” said Chris Purdy. “The organization and industry has many challenges and we look forward to working together to continue to improve our services and provide solutions to assist the specialty crops industry compete in todays market. Whether its conducting grading, inspection and food safety audits to assist in a commercial transaction or providing Market News data to help make pricing and purchasing decisions or supporting the hemp program or the many industry formed and operated marketing orders and research and promotion programs – our experienced and expert staff are here to assist.”
Previously, Purdy worked in business development and marketing, and has a degree from Lehigh University. Post-graduation, Purdy was employed as a legislative advisor for a U.S. Representative “covering agriculture, trade and small business issues.”