TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A former Republican state lawmaker has been appointed as the new state director of U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development in Michigan.

The appointment of Jason Allen recently announced by President Donald Trump's administration. Allen says in a statement that it's an honor and he looks forward to working to "increase rural prosperity and enhance customer service through innovation and partnerships."

Allen previously was a development specialist with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Traverse City resident has served in the Michigan Army National Guard and was elected to two terms each in both the state House and state Senate.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants, supporting infrastructure improvements, business development, homeownership and other services.

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