The United States Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency state office in Davis has announced that John Smythe has stepped down as state executive director after more than 30 years of dedicated service to the agency.
John has served in this top capacity as state executive for 17 years, during three consecutive presidential administrations and four farm bills. He served in this position from 1989 to 1999 and then again from 2001 to January 2009. As he moves into private consulting practice, Smythe reluctantly leaves behind 200 full-time FSA employees in 30 offices across the Golden State.
In 2007, he directed the delivery of a $283 million portfolio of FSA programs for commodity support, disaster recovery, conservation and environmental resource protection. In addition, Smythe managed FSA’s agricultural lending team that provided $102 million in credit resources to California farmers and ranchers.
Started on the ground in FSA, he worked his way up to the top management position in the state. His career with the agency began in 1977, and in 1978 he became the county executive director for Mendocino and Lake counties in the northern part of the state. From there he went south to the San Joaquin Valley community of Hanford where he took charge of the Kings County Office as county executive director. Moving further up the management chain of command, John next became the district director overseeing eight FSA offices from just north of Sacramento to the Oregon border.
John’s knowledge of agriculture and three decades of exemplary service to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency has earned him the Administrator’s Award for Service to Agriculture and the USDA Honor Award bestowed by USDA Secretary Ann Veneman, as well as other numerous honors and awards.