Delaware Secretary Michael T. Scuse announced Jan. 26 the appointment of Austin Short and Kenny Bounds as deputy secretaries of agriculture Jan. 26.

Short, who served as deputy secretary since 2010, is a former state forester and also served as acting secretary of agriculture. Bounds, who retired as senior vice-president for MidAtlantic Farm Credit, is an advocate for Delaware's family farmers.

"Austin and Kenny are true professionals who will help support our farmers and lead Delaware forward, and I'm pleased to have them both on the team," Scuse said. "Their service and dedication to agriculture is unparalleled, and Delaware will be a better place because of their work."

Short, who also heads Delaware's farmland preservation program and planning staff, served as Delaware state forester from 1995 to 2008 and was president of the National Association of State Foresters in 2006-07. He served as acting secretary of agriculture during the transition from the Minner Administration to the Markell Administration. He holds a Bachelor of Science in forestry and an Master of Science in forest biometrics from Virginia Tech. He lives on the family farm near Georgetown, which includes a tree farm and small sawmill.

Bounds, who had a nearly 40-year career with the Farm Credit system, served as Delmarva regional manager and director of government affairs. He also served as president of the Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. trade group and president of the LEAD Maryland Foundation. He was honored with the Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service to Delaware Agriculture in 2016. He holds a degree in agronomy — soils from the University of Maryland, is active in the Boy Scouts of America and lives near Laurel.

Scuse served as the acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture since March 2016, helping support the national agricultural industry, promote rural communities and open markets for America’s farmers. Previously, Scuse was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as under secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, leading efforts to promote American agricultural products globally. From 2001 to 2008, he served as secretary of the Delaware Department of Agriculture under then-Gov. Ruth Ann Minner.