Bette Brand is President and CEO of Strategic Consulting LLC. She is driven by her commitment and extensive experience working with lenders, rural businesses and communities to access much needed capital in order to improve the quality of life and prosperity of rural America.
Brand is the former Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development where she led a team serving all 50 states and three territories. Under her leadership, the Rural Development team delivered loans and grants totaling more than $40 billion/year and was committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America. Agencies under her oversight included Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service and Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
Brand supported the Rural Development mission through strong leadership, program stewardship, and partnerships within the federal family with sister agencies like the Small Business Association and the Department of Energy. She also prioritized increasing rural America’s access to capital, investing in innovative technology and helping businesses create jobs.
Prior to USDA, Brand was with the Farm Credit System for more than 35 years where she served as chief advocate for the agriculture industry and rural businesses, supporting producers at the state and national level and educating policymakers and consumers on agriculture. During this time, she served as Chief Sales Officer, overseeing the business development of a $1.6 billion credit portfolio, managing a team of commercial agriculture and agribusiness lenders, and supervising Farm Credit of the Virginias’ marketing and branding. Brand was instrumental in starting the Farm Credit Knowledge Center which has become an integral resource for producers. She has wide-ranging experience promoting rural communities, having served on the Virginia Agribusiness Council, the Virginia Horse Council, the Virginia Cooperative Council, and the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.
She currently serves as the Senior Advisor of the Generation Food Rural Partners fund, a recently launched $125 million target fund through Big Idea Ventures. Focused on driving innovation and economic growth across rural America, the Generation Food Rural Partners fund collaborates with universities across the U.S. to commercialize leading intellectual property innovations in food, protein, and agriculture.
Brand has a degree in Animal Science and an MBA from Virginia Tech. She and her husband, David, live in Roanoke, Virginia and have three grown sons.