BILLINGS, Mont. -

A Havre man with a history of economic development work has been named the Montana state director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development branch.
    
The White House appointment of Tony Preite was announced by Montana's two Democratic U.S. senators, Max Baucus and Jon Tester, who recommended him for the job.
    
USDA Rural Development offers loans and grants to help rural communities fulfill needs such as building water and sewer systems, providing public housing and health clinics and setting up local credit unions.
    
The senators say Preite got his start in economic development working as Director of Bear Paw development in Havre. He later worked for the federal government including a previous stint as state director of Rural Development in 1993.