Arthur L. Neal, Jr. currently serves as the Deputy Administrator of the Transportation and Marketing (TM) Program for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) in Washington, DC.
Arthur provides leadership in market research and technical assistance for local food systems development, conducting economic analysis regarding the transportation of agriculture products from farm to market, and directing the funding of approximately $100 million dollars in grants for local food marketing and the competitive marketing of specialty crops. Arthur also oversees the USDA Farmer’s Market at headquarters, and the People’s Garden Initiative, which is a Departmental effort to encourage the creation of school and community gardens across the country.
Before joining the Transportation and Marketing Program in 2011, Arthur spent 14 years at USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) where he served as Associate Deputy Administrator and played a leading role in the development and enforcement of national organic standards for the production, handling, and certification of organic agricultural products. During his tenure at NOP, Arthur served as the U.S. delegate on organic agriculture for the United Nation's Food and Agriculture/World Health Organization's Codex Alimentarious Commission.
He also served three years with the USDA Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights as the National Program Manager for the USDA/1890 Program and Special Assistant to the Director of the Office of Adjudication. His primary responsibilities included strengthening USDA’s partnership with Historically Black Land-Grant Universities and facilitating resolution of Equal Credit Opportunity Act cases.
Arthur, the son of a farmer and native of Louisiana, graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in Agriculture Economics from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and earned a master’s degree from the Dale Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food and Life Sciences at University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.
He and his wife reside in the Washington, DC metro area.