Barbara Fecso is the Branch Chief of the Commodity Analysis Branch, Economic and Policy Analysis Division, Farm Production and Conservation Business Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture. She is responsible for overseeing the administration of the domestic sugar, dairy, livestock, cotton, peanuts, grains and oilseeds programs. Barbara provides guidance to the Secretary of Agriculture on the formulation and implementation of national policies and procedures, as well as economic and budgetary impact analysis of those programs.
Barbara has twenty-five years of government service in USDA with an emphasis on program analysis, operations and budgetary analysis. She initially spent five years with the Natural Resource Conservation Service as a program analyst for conservation technical assistance, watershed, and animal waste management programs. She then spent two years as a wheat and pulse crop analyst at the Farm Service Agency before shifting to sugar. She was named Director of FSA’s Dairy and Sweeteners Analysis branch in 2014 and played a critical role in the negotiation of the current sugar trade agreement with Mexico. In October 2018, she was named Branch Chief under USDA’s reorganization and now oversees 10 economists who cover over 30 commodities, including dairy and the livestock disaster programs.
Barbara received a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University at West Lafayette, Indiana, in 1994. She was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and lived for almost twenty years in central Illinois. She has three children and now resides in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband.