Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the appointment of Rayne Pegg, legislative and policy adviser for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, as the new administrator of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.
Pegg's duties will include overseeing the market reporting services that USDA provides for many crop and livestock producers across the United States along with managing the Agriculture Department's regulatory programs for a number of commodities.
“Rayne Pegg brings years of experience to USDA from her work on agricultural issues both as a distinguished public servant and in the non-profit community,” said Vilsack. “Rayne's background makes her the ideal person to further the development of programs to ensure efficient, fair marketing of U.S. agricultural products.”
Pegg most recently served as the deputy secretary of legislation and policy for the California Department of Food and Agriculture. In this role, she was the principle advisor to both the secretary of the Department and the cabinet of the Governor of California on the Department's legislative and policy issues.
She represented the Department before the California legislature, regulating bodies and interested parties on issues potentially impacting the Department's programs. She has worked with growers and the public to find common ground and reach agreement on controversial issues.
She also worked on legislation and public policy that address: invasive species, the farm bill, the Department's budget, organic production, food safety, farmers markets, government oversight and trade barriers.
As an advocate with the California Farm Bureau Federation, Pegg analyzed California agriculture's foreign market opportunities and competition and participated in the World Trade Organization and US-Korea FTA negotiations.
She has worked with USDA to resolve phytosanitary barriers that restrict the movement of California products to foreign and domestic markets. In addition, Pegg was previously appointed to the USDA, Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee on Fruits and Vegetables. Pegg was also a principle in the creation of the California Leafy Green Product Handler Marketing Agreement, which was established in response to the spinach E. coli outbreak in 2006.
Pegg earned her B.A. degree in psychology from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. On a personal level, she is a mentor for Wonder Inc., a support network for foster children.