State Sen. Jim Tracy was appointed as Tennessee state director of Rural Development, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Friday.
The announcement was made with a slate of appointments to the Farm Service Agency and Rural Development, all serving as appointees of President Donald J. Trump.
The Tennessean reported Monday afternoon that Tracy had resigned his seat in the state Senate.
In January, Tracy was appointed as speaker pro tempore of the State Senate for the 110th Tennessee General Assembly. Tracy represents the 14th District, which includes Bedford, Marshall, Moore and Lincoln counties, along with part of Rutherford County.
"Outstanding hire! (Jim Tracy) has a passion for agriculture & will excel in promoting economic development in our rural areas," Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said in a tweet Friday. McNally appointed Tracy as speaker pro tempore.
Former state Rep. Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, confirmed to the Voice that he is planning on running in a special election to fill Tracy's vacated seat.
According to a press release, Rural Development state directors work to help improve the economy and quality of life in rural America.
Similarly, State Directors help implement U.S. Department of Agriculture policies in planning, organizing, and administering FSA programs in their respective states. They are also responsible for running the day-to-day activities of the state FSA office.
“These state directors will help ensure that USDA is offering the best customer service to our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and agricultural producers across the country,” Perdue said.
“FSA and RD both play a critical role in helping the people of agriculture and are able to connect with people in their home states. They are the initial points of contact for millions of our USDA customers. Our goal is to help rural America prosper, and these state leaders will be of great assistance in that task.”
Tracy ran a small business in Shelbyville for 24 years before being elected to the State Senate in 2004 as an advocate for agriculture issues in the state.
Dennis Beavers was also named as an FSA state director. Beavers, who served as state director for the Donald J. Trump Campaign, brings business experience in the insurance industry, and experience serving on various boards and commissions in both Tennessee and Alabama to serve the USDA and the farmers of Tennessee.