Serving as the former Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and a former U.S. Representative from the 2nd District of Mississippi, A. Michael Espy currently works as a private sector attorney, counselor, and agricultural advisor, running his own law and consulting firms Mike Espy, PLLC, and AE Agritrade, Inc. Prior to his appointment as USDA Secretary, Espy served for seven years as a Member of Congress, becoming the first African American member from the State of Mississippi since the Reconstruction-era. While in Congress, he served his district as a member of the Budget and Agriculture Committees. Before Espy’s election to Congress in 1996, he worked as a trial lawyer and served as Assistant Attorney General and Director of the Mississippi Office of Consumer Protection. In 1980, he was appointed as an Assistant Secretary of State and served as Director of the Office of Public Lands.