Former congressman and state schools superintendent Bob Etheridge is the new executive director of the North Carolina office of the federal agency that oversees some agricultural programs and keeps farmers abreast of other initiatives.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Etheridge's new job, which he began Monday. The Harnett County Democrat served as superintendent for eight years and the 2nd District congressman for 14 years through 2010. He also ran unsuccessfully for his party's nomination for governor in 2012.
Etheridge's career also has included time as a tobacco farmer. He succeeds Aaron Martin as state director. There's been an interim director for about a year.
The Farm Service Agency carries out federal conservation programs and resolves appeals over federal issues with local farmers.
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