Rep. Dennis Johnson, left, stands with the newly appointed state Rural Development director, Ryan McMullen.

Toward the end of June, Rep. Ryan McMullen was officially appointed as the state director of rural development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). On Tuesday, McMullen arrived at the USDA for Rural Development office in Duncan.

McMullen, who is from Burns Flat, has spent the first two weeks of his new position touring the 12 area USDA offices. Duncan and Atoka brought an end to the tour, and he was slated to return to Stillwater following the end of his tour.

His job is to bring federal assistance to rural areas when necessary and to improve the quality of life for people in rural areas. The appointment has been in the works since December.

“It feels fantastic,” McMullen said. “I think it’s going to be a job I absolutely love.”

Rep. Dennis Johnson of Duncan stopped by the Duncan office to visit with McMullen. Johnson said he became friends with McMullen during legislative session.

“He was right across the aisle from me,” Johnson said. “We got to be good friends. I know I can trust him.”

McMullen was appointed to the position by the White House. He has been a member of the House of Representatives for five years.

He said he has enjoyed meeting with the various people at the USDA offices around the state.

“The tour is about visiting with the employees in the field office,” McMullen said. “That’s where the rubber meets the road.”

Because of his experience with rural areas, he said the job is something that will give him more exposure to something he finds important.

McMullen said the tour has given him a look at parts of the state he hasn’t been to previously. It has also given him a chance to see what the needs of the individual areas are.

“Every corner of the state has its own challenges,” McMullen said.

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