The Center for Rural Policy and Development has announced the addition of Steve Wenzel, a longtime rural Minnesota advocate and public servant, to the organization's board of directors.
Wenzel, of Little Falls, is currently an adjunct professor of political science at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. He previously served eight years as state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Agency (August 2001 to January 2009). He was elected state representative in 1972 and represented the central Minnesota counties of Morrison, Crow Wing and Mille Lacs in the Minnesota Legislature for 29 years.
During his tenure with the USDA, Wenzel oversaw the investment of $4.2 billion in rural development grants and loans to rural Minnesota communities. Prior to this, in his nearly three decades of service at the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul, Wenzel served continuously on the House Agriculture Committee, including 16 years as chairman.
The Center for Rural Policy and Development, based in St. Peter, is a private, not-for-profit policy research organization dedicated to benefiting Minnesota by providing its policymakers with an unbiased evaluation of issues from a rural perspective.
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