Ronald M. Howell, Jr.

Ronald M. Howell, Jr. joins the secretariat through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of the Governor to provide leadership and expertise with the development and utilization of state-based economic development programs and tools, outreach initiatives, and other special projects. Prior to this position, Ronald worked at USDA in Washington, D.C. with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer as a Senior Financial Program and Management Analyst. Ronald began his USDA career working with the Virginia Farm Service Agency as a County Operations Management Trainee; creating awareness of and administering federal program in USDA county offices, working with producers and landowners in implementing conservation practices, and building partnerships with state-based agencies and industry stakeholders across the Commonwealth.

Ronald’s previous work experiences and affiliations have equipped him with a strong passion for working on agricultural-related policy issues, state-based and federal program partnerships, outreach, and community development. He wholeheartedly understands the necessity to pledge the promotion of local and regional food systems, to celebrate the scientific and technological advances in modern agriculture, and embrace the programs and services in the agriculture and forestry sectors designed to ensure the sustainability of rural and urban Virginia!

Staying involved and committed to serving, Ronald is completing his second term as the at-large advocacy member on the Virginia Cooperative Extension Leadership Council (VA-ELC) and chairs the Surry County Career and Technical Education and Workforce Development Board.

Ronald resides in Spring Grove, VA and is actively involved in the management of his family’s diversified farming operation in Surry County, Virginia. Ronald earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Business and Economics from Virginia State University in 2009, and received his Master of Science in Agricultural Life Sciences from Virginia Tech.