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Contact: Jay Johnson (202) 720-2707


USDA Announces Leadership Changes On Agricultural Statistics Board


WASHINGTON, Sept. 7, 2005 - Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced upcoming changes in the leadership of the Agricultural Statistics Board (ASB), precipitated by the retirement of current ASB Chair Richard D. Allen in early October. Carol House, currently the Associate Administrator for USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), has been named to succeed Allen as ASB Chair and NASS Deputy Administrator for Programs and Products. House will be the first woman to chair the ASB since its creation 100 years ago.

In addition, Steven D. Wiyatt, Director of the NASS Statistics Division and ASB member since Jan. 2001, was named to the new position of ASB Executive Director.

"Rich Allen dedicated his 42-year career to serving American agriculture with timely, accurate and useful statistics," said Ronald Bosecker, Administrator of NASS. "His leadership will be missed in the agricultural and statistical communities. However, he leaves NASS having been very effective at developing well-qualified employees who will continue his work.

"Carol House is a leader who brings more than 29 years of NASS experience and knowledge to the Agricultural Statistics Board," said Bosecker. "As Chair, she will uphold the integrity of the ASB and continue to protect the security for the more than 450 reports and estimates released annually."

Bosecker noted that "Steve Wiyatt has effectively filled the role of ASB chief operating officer for the last five years. As the first ASB Executive Director, he will ensure continued effective and efficient operation of the Board as it provides statistics covering all aspects of U.S. agriculture."

The actions of NASS will continue the secure and reliable statistical service of the ASB as it begins its second century in USDA.


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