Ben Thiel has been appointed director of the Spokane regional office of the USDA Risk Management Agency.
The office serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Thiel has worked for USDA for more than 12 years. His background includes working as a manager and merchandiser in the grain elevator industry.
For the last six years, Thiel worked for the agency’s product management office as a risk management specialist in the policy administration branch, overseeing area-based insurance plans for canola, forage, malting barley, onions and small grains, according to an agency press release.
Thiel helped implement many of the new crop insurance changes enacted by the Agricultural Act of 2014.
He also worked for the USDA Farm Service Agency as a warehouse examiner and compliance officer, overseeing warehouses storing cotton, grain, peanuts, sugar and processed commodities under the United States Warehouse Act and storage agreements for the Commodity Credit Corporation.
Thiel grew up on a family farm west of Idaho Falls, Idaho. The farm produced alfalfa, malting barley and potatoes. He has a bachelor of arts degree from Idaho State University.
Thiel begins in October. He replaces Dave Paul, who retired in July after 19 years.