(Aug. 10) Produce marketing orders now answer to a new U.S. Department of Agriculture authority, as the agency has brought in some new leadership.

Bruce Knight, who was sworn in Aug. 10 as undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs, is one of three new agency directors taking on new positions with the USDA.

Margo McKay and Nancy Montanez-Johner were to be sworn in, respectively, as assistant secretary for civil rights and undersecretary for food nutrition and consumer services Aug. 14.

Montanez-Johner succeeds Eric Bost, who had taken the oath as U.S. ambassador to South Africa on July 20.

Knight had been chief of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service since 2002. Before that, he had been vice president for public policy with the National Corn Growers Association, based in Washington, D.C.

He replaced Bill Hawks, who had the job since May 2001.

The USDA also said Aug. 9 it would begin a search to replace J.B. Penn as undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services. Penn, who had been in that position since May 2001, resigned Aug. 8 to return to the private sector.