President Joe Biden appealed to Democratic state senator and educator from Bismarck area Erin Oban as North Dakota director for the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency.
The agency covers many things: from providing funding programs to strengthening economic opportunities in rural and tribal communities.
The main axes of the North Dakota – USDA Rural Development include infrastructure projects, housing needs, economic development, childcare, and labor challenges, among others.
Oban says his seven years in the legislature have given him the opportunity to learn about issues that matter to people from all corners of the state.
Although Oban now lives in Bismark, she grew up in the small town of Ray, which has a population of around 720 according to the 2020 census.
“This education and these values never change. And, so, be sure to connect the agency’s programs with the communities that would be eligible for funding for their projects, but also to elevate the needs of those communities up to the administration in Washington, DC, and to work alongside our congressional delegation and other partners just to make sure those voices are heard,” Oban said.
Oban’s resignation from her legislative seat will take effect March 27, and she will then be sworn in as North Dakota’s director of USDA Rural Development on March 28. Oban must also resign from his professional career with the Regional Education Association.
Oban says it’s bittersweet because she’s committed to both careers.
“The shock of it all probably hasn’t fully passed yet, but it’s an incredible opportunity to be able to continue public service to North Dakotans, which I’m very determined to do, but in a very different way. So I look forward to the work and appreciate the partnership and support of our Congressional delegation and ultimately the President of the United States making these appointments,” she added.