This week, seven Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) employees were sworn in as Foreign Service Officers during a ceremony at USDA in Washington, D.C. This group of newly minted Foreign Service Officers will be posted in locales around the world, from Moscow to Brasilia, in their first positions in USDA’s overseas offices. FAS officers begin their Foreign Service careers as attachés.
FAS Administrator John Brewer officiated the ceremony and was joined by Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Deputy Under Secretary Darci Vetter. In what is their first step in a long and successful career in the Foreign Service, Brewer and Vetter presented each new officer with a flag representing the country in which they will be posted.
“The Attaché service is the backbone of FAS and I believe that without the special skills and abilities that you and your colleagues bring to the job every day, FAS would not be able to carry out its mission,” said Brewer.
There are approximately 170 Foreign Service Officers in FAS. FAS officers staff 100 offices in 77 countries around the world, and also monitor and report on the agricultural trade matters of an additional 79 countries. U.S. farmers, ranchers, trade associations and private companies depend on FAS officers to guide them through export of their products. FAS officers provide reports on hot market prospects and offer expertise when trade barriers arise. The work of FAS officers will be critical as USDA works to achieve President Obama’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling overall U.S. exports by 2014.
To learn more about the Foreign Service through FAS, please visit our website.