Greg Ibach, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture for the last 12 years, has been unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the USDA.
This move was applauded by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue, as Ibach is the latest of appointments to be confirmed.
“Greg Ibach will bring experience and integrity to his new role at USDA, and carries with him the knowledge he’s gained in the dozen years he has served as Nebraska’s director of agriculture,” Perdue says in a statement. “His expertise in a wide cross-section of agricultural issues will be invaluable to our customers: the farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers of America. I look forward to working with Greg and urge the Senate to continue to act on other nominees who are awaiting confirmation.”
The National Pork Producers Council offers a ringing endorsement of Ibach’s confirmation. “Director Ibach will be a great asset at USDA for American agriculture,” says NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “Farmers and ranchers couldn’t ask for a better person to lead this key USDA department.” In addition to being Nebraska’s director of agriculture, he operates a cow-calf and row crop farm near Sumner, Neb.
In his job at USDA, Ibach will supervise policy development and oversee day-to-day operations of the Agricultural Marketing Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
Media reports say the Senate confirmation of Bill Northey as the USDA’s undersecretary for farm production and conservation is being help up over “politics.” According to an article on the Des Moines Register website, Politico reports that Sen Ted Cruz threw up a road block in Northey’s confirmation that had been smooth sailing. “The reason? According to Politico’s unnamed sources, it’s a ‘reaction’ to successful efforts by Iowa Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst last week to block action by the Environmental Protection Agency to decrease the mandate for biofuels blended into the nation’s fuel supply,” the Register article read.
Northey is the Iowa secretary of agriculture.