President Barack Obama will nominate Edward M. Avalos as undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs at USDA. If confirmed, Avalos will serve with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
“Edward Avalos has spent a lifetime in agriculture, including 34 years in agricultural marketing," said Vilsack. "He has spearheaded innovative marketing techniques which have improved the economic viability of rural areas and established export marketing programs which have placed American crops on tables around the world.
“He brings extensive knowledge and a successful track record in both domestic and international marketing. We’re pleased to have him join the Obama Administration team at USDA as we meet the challenges and find the opportunities in the food and agriculture sectors in the 21st Century.”
Avalos has served with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture for 29 years where he established the New Mexico Specialty Crops Program. This program provides matching funds to entities which can improve rural economies and need assistance with marketing projects for specialty crops and value-added products. He also spent five years with the Texas Department of Agriculture.
He has implemented many trade promotions and trade missions during his career. He has worked in Mexico, Japan, China, Canada and Latin America, promoting New Mexican crops and livestock.
Avalos was raised on a family farm in New Mexico's Mesilla Valley where they grew cotton, wheat and a variety of specialty crops. He is a member of several agricultural promotion organizations in the state and received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from New Mexico State University.
Bruce Knight was the undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs in the Bush administration. Prior to him, Bill Hawks, a farmer from Mississippi, served in the post.