Larry Mitchell was appointed the new administrator of USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) this week. Mitchell will be responsible for a variety of programs that facilitate the marketing of livestock, poultry, meat, cereals, oilseeds, and related agricultural products, the statement announcing his appointment said.  Mitchell will also be responsible for promoting fair and competitive trading practices for the overall benefit of consumers and American agriculture, the statement said.  The markets serviced by GIPSA represent a total economic value of approximately $170 billion annually with exports contributing over $28.7 billion to the U.S. economy, USDA noted.

Before joining GIPSA, Mitchell served as the associate director of the office of advocacy and outreach at USDA and previously served as deputy administrator for farm programs of the Farm Service Agency and deputy vice president at the Commodity Credit Corporation in the 1990s.

Mitchell has also served in the private and nonprofit sectors as president of K Street Research, Inc. and as chief executive officer of the American Corn Growers Association. Prior to serving at USDA in the 1990s, Mitchell held the position of vice president of government relations for the National Farmers Union; director of federal and state relations for the American Agriculture Movement; editor of the “AAM Reporter;” and as an independent consultant and writer on American farm issues.

Before coming to Washington in 1989,  Mitchell was a grain and cotton farmer in Texas.  Mitchell replaces J. Dudley Butler who was appointed GIPSA Administrator in May 2009 and resigned in January 2012.  In a related announcement, RCALF said the organization is pleased with the appointment of Mitchell to head GIPSA.