(Nov. 23) Illinois farmer Eldon Gould has been named administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency. Agriculture secretary Mike Johanns announced the appointment Nov. 18.

Gould also will serve as manager of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation board in its role as regulator and reinsurer of the crop insurance industry. Gould takes over an agency that has faced harsh criticism the past 18 months.

The General Accounting Office criticized the USDA in a May 2004 report for its oversight of insurance companies. A Nov. 1 report by the GAO said the Risk Management Agency was not doing an adequate job of inspecting farms to curtail insurance fraud.