USDA’s offices continue to fill up as two more key leadership positions were confirmed by the U.S. Senate last night. Stephen Censky was confirmed as USDA’s deputy secretary and Ted McKinney as undersecretary of trade and foreign agricultural affairs.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue praises the Senate’s confirmations, issuing the following statement.
“I commend the Senate for confirming these two experienced, prepared and capable nominees, who will provide the steady leadership we need at USDA. Steve Censky will help us be responsive to producers reeling from the effects of multiple hurricanes and also offer prudent counsel as Congress continues work on the 2018 farm bill. Ted McKinney will take charge of the newly created mission area focused on trade, and wake up every morning seeking to sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets. We eagerly await their arrival at USDA, and urge the Senate to continue to act on other nominees who are awaiting confirmation.”
The National Pork Producers Council was also quick to congratulate Censky and McKinney on their confirmations.
“The confirmations of Stephen Censky and Ted McKinney come at a critical time for U.S. agriculture,” says NPPC President Ken Maschhoff. “They bring strong agriculture leadership experience and a commitment to the expansion of international trade on which our industry depends.”
Censky previously served as the CEO of the American Soybean Association where he made market expansion efforts a top priority. Additionally, he served at the USDA under both the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, becoming administrator of the agency’s Foreign Agriculture Service in 1992.
McKinney formerly served as Indiana’s agriculture secretary and brings extensive experience in the private agriculture sector. He serves in a newly established position dedicated to preserving and expanding foreign market access for U.S. agricultural products.
“Secretary Perdue described the trade undersecretary position as one focused on ‘waking up every morning seeking to sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets,’” Maschhoff says. “That’s a worthy and much-needed mission and Ted McKinney is a great champion to fulfill it.
“NPPC looks forward to working with these USDA leaders to develop policies that advance the development of the U.S. pork industry and agriculture sector.”
Tomorrow the Senate Agriculture Committee is to consider the nominations of Bill Northey to be undersecretary for Farm and Conservation Programs and Greg Ibach as undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
Northey is currently Iowa secretary of agriculture and Ibach is Nebraska’s director of agriculture.