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Jasper Schneider, North Dakota director for USDA Rural Development, has moved on to a new role after being appointed this week as acting administrator of the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service.

Schneider had served for five years in his role as state director before his Wednesday appointment to RUS.

The RUS works to support and expand public utilities such as electric and phone lines as well as internet and water systems.

Schneider will be overseeing an RUS portfolio that totals approximately $60 billion.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., praised the appointment in a Thursday release.

“Supporting rural communities is vital to our nation’s economic success and families all across this country,” Heitkamp said. “I have no doubt Jasper will excel in this new role, just as he has in previous positions.”

Prior to joining USDA Schneider, a Democrat, served one term in the North Dakota House. He also once had a law practice and served as legal counsel for retired Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

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Reach Nick Smith at 250-8255 or 223-8482 or at nick.smith@bismarcktribune.com.

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