Ray Melton
Ray Melton

Ray Melton, a Greyhound Grad, was recently promoted to the role of business and cooperatives program director for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development. He works out of Roswell, New Mexico, and administers the business and cooperatives programs for the entire state of New Mexico.

The director oversees a multitude of programs and grants that strengthen rural areas, including development grants for the startup or expansion of small and emerging private businesses and non-profits, a Rural Energy for America Program that provides assistance for energy efficiency improvements and a Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program that establishes revolving funds to target assistance to small rural enterprises.

His says that his favorite part of the role is "helping my fellow native New Mexicans on various business projects across the state that cover a diverse range of projects from the hotel and agricultural industry to renewable energy and energy efficiency."

His career goal is to "continue assisting people of our state in my new role in business programs and make New Mexico a great place to live."

Mr. Melton received a bachelor's degree in business administration with minors in marketing and economics from Eastern New Mexico University in 2002. He chose to attend ENMU due to the proximity to his family ranch, located in the Fort Sumner area, and because of the "quality of the business school education."

He decided to study business after being "convinced by banking and business mentors in the Clovis and Portales communities to go into the business school due to the quality of the education and need for businesses in the area."

The Greyhound Grad shares that his time at Eastern helped him prepare for the world of business: "Business, marketing and economic background all tied into the lending industry and environment through the various courses offered at ENMU and gave me a great knowledge base to begin my career.

"It was a pleasure and true learning experience working with the professors at ENMU," said Mr. Melton, who was a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. He added that his friendships and the lifestyle at Eastern made it a "great environment" for learning.

His advice for students interested in studying business is to "work hard and have fun. ENMU is a great place to learn and grow."

Before working for the USDA, Mr. Melton worked for Citizens Bank of Clovis, Western Bank of Clovis and Farm Credit of New Mexico. He is also a graduate of the Western States School of Banking at the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico.

Mr. Melton, whose family has been in the area since 1849 on the family ranch, has two sons, Reese and Raynen, with his wife, Karen. They also have a Jack Russell dog named Daisy.

His hobbies include enjoying outdoor activities and flying model and remote-control aircraft and drones.

Mr. Melton shares that his father has been his life-long role model due to his "strong character and work ethic."

Learn more about USDA Rural Development.