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USDA’s AMS names Deputy Administrator for Specialty Crops

New Deputy Administrator for AMS Specialty Crops Program

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) BB #:158193 is pleased to announce Christopher “Chris” Purdy has been selected as the new Deputy Administrator of the Specialty Crops Program (SCP).

“Chris is very familiar with SCP, having served for over 10 years in several key roles eventually becoming an Associate Deputy Administrator for the Program,” said AMS Administrator Bruce Summers. “I’m excited to have him return to the program, and he brings with him a wealth of knowledge about not only AMS programs and services, but also issues important to the specialty crops industry. For the past five years Chris has served as the Associate Deputy Administrator in the Commodity Procurement Program, where he helped lead several initiatives important to the specialty crops industry and those that enjoy them, including several significant special purchase programs. These purchase programs helped industry and communities in need during supply and other disruptions caused by trade disputes and the pandemic.”

SCP helps buyers and sellers of all sizes in the U.S. specialty crops industry to market their perishable products in the most efficient manner. We partner with State agencies for the benefit of the industry along the supply chain from grower-to-consumer. The program offers a wide array of services that span from helping market the quality of products to providing timely data to assist with business decisions. The program also helps specialty crops growers and handlers to combine their resources to help their respective industries overcome marketing barriers.

“I am delighted and honored to accept the position as SCP’s Deputy Administrator,” said Chris Purdy. “The organization and industry has many challenges and we look forward to working together to continue to improve our services and provide solutions to assist the specialty crops industry compete in todays market. Whether its conducting grading, inspection and food safety audits to assist in a commercial transaction or providing Market News data to help make pricing and purchasing decisions or supporting the hemp program or the many industry formed and operated marketing orders and research and promotion programs – our experienced and expert staff are here to assist.”

Chris’ SCP leadership team is rounded out with Heather Pichelman and Ken Petersen serving as Associate Deputy Administrators. Heather is responsible for the USDA hemp production program, marketing orders & agreements, and research & promotion programs via the Market Development Division. Ken is responsible for inspection, grading, and audit services via the Inspection Division. Ken also oversees the Market News Division.

Prior to joining USDA, Chris worked in the private sector in a business development and marketing capacity. Chris graduated from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA with a degree in Government. After graduating Chris served as a legislative advisor for a U.S. Representative covering agriculture, trade and small business issues. Along with his wife, Suzanne, they live outside of Washington, DC and have three daughters.