Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that J. Dudley Butler, an attorney and cattleman from Mississippi, will serve as administrator of USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.

“Dudley Butler has a solid understanding of issues impacting the agriculture industry and brings a lifetime of experience to the USDA that will help keep our food supply safe,” Vilsack said. “He’s also demonstrated a commitment to helping rural America prosper.”

GIPSA facilitates the marketing of livestock, poultry, meat, cereals, oilseeds, and related agricultural products, and promotes fair and competitive trading practices for the overall benefit of consumers and American agriculture. The agency is part of USDA’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs mission area.

Butler has been an attorney in private practice for over three decades and is a certified mediator and arbitrator. He’s also been involved in cattle, timber and farming operations, and in the 80s and 90s, owned cattle in Wyoming and traded cattle in states including Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska and Utah.

Butler has consistently worked on both the state and national level to protect the rights of farmers and ranchers to ensure that family farms and rural America continue to prosper. He has testified before Congress on matters involving agriculture and arbitration and served on a mandatory price reporting task force that lead to the passage of a mandatory price reporting law by Congress.

Butler started his career serving as a legislative assistant for Mississippi Governor Cliff Finch. He was subsequently named attorney and special assistant to the Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections where he was responsible for legal work involving the Department including proposed legislation.

He also served as a liaison to the Legislature and was responsible for various executive management duties assigned by the Commissioner including the reorganization of the Department’s management structure and the revamping of its agricultural division.

Butler is a member of the Mississippi Bar Association and has served as a Bar Commissioner for the Mississippi Bar, co-chairman of the Arbitration Committee of the Mississippi Bar, and as a member of the Bench/Bar Liaison Committee.