USDA Announces Arlisa Armstrong as

Tennessee Rural Development State Director


NASHVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 3, 2022 – President Joe Biden announced his intent to appoint four U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regional positions, including four Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Directors and five Rural Development (RD) State Directors.

“As USDA continues to work toward improving the lives of all Americans, we welcome these talented individuals who will each play a key role in advancing that shared mission,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Each of them will add to the experienced, dedicated and growing team at the Department.”

RD State Directors serve as the chief executive officer of Rural Development in the states and territories and are tasked with carrying out the mission of Rural Development to the benefit of everyone in rural America. In conjunction with the guidance and support of the National Office, State Directors are responsible for promoting the mission and strategic goals of Rural Development and provide key leadership to develop and support a productive, diverse, and inclusive state workforce.

Arlisa Armstrong, RD State Director for Tennessee

Prior to her appointment as State Director, Arlisa Armstrong spent nearly three decades working in Rural Development in Western Tennessee. A native of Haywood County, Arlisa has spent time working with local leaders across Western Tennessee and understands firsthand the integral role USDA Rural Development plays in promoting growth and prosperity for rural communities. Armstrong successfully led several initiatives across a 12-county service area, effectively implementing residential, business, commercial and profit/nonprofit loan and grant making authorities for direct and guaranteed lending programs. Arlisa is passionate about her work and has made it her mission to bring opportunity to rural communities across the state. Arlisa is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University where she received her degree in Business Administration.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, promoting competition and fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit