Under the Dome

Former US Rep. Bob Etheridge lands federal job

Bob Etheridge just can’t seem to retire.

The former 2nd District Congressman, turned stimulus czar, turned Democratic gubernatorial nominee has a new gig.

He was appointed by President Barack Obama to head up the state’s Farm Service Agency, and started work on Monday.

The USDA agency oversees some farm programs, carries out federal conservation programs and resolves issues between farmers and the federal government. It has been led by interim director Cynthia Kernodle for about a year. His salary was not announced but a federal database of salaries show the position paid $144,550 in 2012.

The White House announcement noted that Etheridge, a Sampson County native, is the son of tenant farmers. While representing the 2nd District, he served for 12 years on the House Agriculture Committee and for two years as Chairman of the General Farm Commodity and Risk Management Subcommittee. After he was defeated by Renee Ellmers in 2010, he was hired by Gov. Bev Perdue to watch over the state’s spending of its federal stimulus money. That job paid $98,500.