agriculture secretary

More than agriculture at USDA, but not in its name

It took little more than a shake of the head and a few reproachful words for House Agriculture chairman Kika de la Garza to sink a Clinton-era proposal to change the USDA's name to the Department of Food and Agriculture. "It would better reflect what USDA actually does and where the dollars are spent," said Dan Glickman, the agriculture secretary who brought the idea to Capitol Hill as part of a reorganization of the department and its myriad duties.

Merrigan, former No. 2 at USDA, ‘would welcome the opportunity’ to lead agency

Kathleen Merrigan, the deputy secretary of the USDA during the Obama era, said on Tuesday she “would welcome the opportunity to be considered” for agriculture secretary in the Biden administration. “Honestly, it is the job of a lifetime and I have been in training for it my …

Boost SNAP benefits by 15 percent, says Fudge, potential USDA nominee

On the same day President-elect Joe Biden urged Congress to pass additional coronavirus relief, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge said on Monday “it is long past time to increase SNAP benefits by 15 percent” and devote additional funds to other public nutrition programs. Fudge, a leading …

Perdue’s spotty past presents ongoing ethics concerns, advocacy group says

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue brings with him a legacy of ethics violations, climate denialism, and deregulation, all of which could threaten the future of the Department of Agriculture, argues a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists. The report, out today, gathers information from Perdue’s past political career and his current administrative and policy choices to analyze whether and how the Secretary’s tenure could have a long-lasting negative affect on agricultural research and policy.

Perdue ‘can’t do it alone,’ say farm groups, asking Trump for USDA appointments

U.S. farmers and ranchers, among President Trump's strongest supporters, are “at a disadvantage” because Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is running the USDA by himself, said 17 powerhouse farm groups in a letter to the president. It was one of the first expressions of discontent with the administration from the politically conservative farm sector.

Field of candidates for USDA posts becoming clearer

The White House has settled on Steve Censky, a top foreign trade official at the USDA before becoming a farm group executive, for the No. 2 job at the department, according to published reports.

Perdue races into action after overwhelming Senate confirmation

Newly minted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's first day on the job will be a busy one, following the 87-11 confirmation vote in the Senate that ended more than three months of waiting. Perdue scheduled a start-of-the-workday speech to USDA employees this morning and is to join President Trump for an agricultural roundtable discussion at the White House in the afternoon.

A sea of issues await Perdue when he walks in the door at USDA

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue is hours away from becoming U.S. agriculture secretary, with the Senate expected to confirm the nomination by a solid majority this evening. Perdue will enter the job on a tide of goodwill and risks inundation by a flood of issues from budget cuts and agricultural trade to expanded subsidies for cotton and dairy producers.

Perdue ‘faces a real set of challenges’ due to late start, says Vilsack

Since January, Sonny Perdue's job has been simple yet slow to come into reach: Win Senate confirmation as agriculture secretary. Perdue's predecessor at USDA, Tom Vilsack, said during a public radio interview, "Gov. Perdue faces a real set of challenges because his confirmation has been delayed as long as it has."

Perdue says he’ll be ‘USDA’s chief salesman’; some of his work may be at home

A shoo-in to become Agriculture secretary for President Trump, former Georgia Gov .Sonny Perdue says he will be "USDA's chief salesman around the world." Farm-state senators say the sales work should include the Trump team, which has threatened to disrupt relations with major customers for U.S. farm exports.

Senate panel ‘will move as quickly as possible’ on Perdue nomination

American agriculture is "going through a rough patch right now," so the Senate Agriculture Committee "will move as quickly as possible in a bipartisan fashion ... to get the governor down to the department," chairman Pat Roberts said, referring to the nominee for agriculture secretary, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. The committee has scheduled a confirmation hearing for Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.

Perdue assets top $11 million. Will he debut at USDA in April?

Seven weeks after President Trump selected Sonny Perdue for agriculture secretary, the White House formally transmitted the nomination to the Senate, opening the way for the long-awaited confirmation hearing for the former Georgia governor who faces minimal opposition so far. He could be in office in April, based on the Senate's handling of other cabinet nominees.

Heitkamp is first Democratic senator to back Perdue for USDA

The Trump nominee for agriculture secretary, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, has the support of North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, the first Democrat to endorse him. A Democrat-turned-Republican, Perdue has attracted none of the controversy dogging other cabinet nominees. But as the last of President Trump's selections, he still awaits a confirmation hearing.

USDA nominee Sonny Perdue begins Capitol Hill visits

The White House has yet to send the formal nomination documents to the Senate but President Donald Trump's nominee for agriculture secretary, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, is meeting senators this week. The courtesy calls are a combination of get-acquainted sessions and a chance for the nominee to quell any doubts a senator might have. There is no confirmation hearing scheduled yet, says a Senate Agriculture Committee spokeswoman.

Inauguration at hand, Trump to announce Perdue for USDA chief

In the end, President-elect Donald Trump selected Sonny Perdue, the first person he interviewed for the job, to be agriculture secretary, filling the last vacancy in his cabinet. Trump was to announce the selection of Perdue, the first Republican elected governor of Georgia since Reconstruction, as early as today, transition officials told multiple news organizations.

Vilsack departure puts spotlight on empty chair at USDA

Farmers and other rural voters were instrumental in putting Donald Trump in the White House, but the president-elect, four days away from inauguration, has yet to return the favor at USDA. Democrat Tom Vilsack, the longest-serving agriculture secretary in half a century, underlined the absence of a Trump nominee to head USDA by leaving the job a week before the change of administration.

A late start for Trump nominee at USDA may not matter

The agricultural hallmark of the Trump administration, the 2018 farm bill, will be written by Congress for the most part, said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, so it doesn't matter that Trump will take office without a hand-picked leader at the Agriculture Department. "I don't think it's got much to do ... with getting the Trump program for agriculture moving," Grassley told reporters.

Miller, a possible USDA pick, would cut school lunch by ‘several billion dollars’

The government is giving away too many meals in the school-lunch program, according to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in a McClatchy story. An aspirant for U.S. agriculture secretary, Miller said he discussed with President-elect Donald Trump's team a plan to save "several billion dollars" by reforming the lunch program, which was created in 1946 "as a measure of national security, to safeguard the the health and well-being of the nation's children."

Trump’s latest contender for USDA passed toughest ‘ag gag’ law

President-elect Donald Trump is considering Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter for secretary of agriculture, despite his record — or maybe because of it — of opposing animal rights activists, says Politico. In Idaho, Otter signed the country’s toughest “ag gag” law, which carries up to a year in jail and a maximum fine $5,000 if a person is caught using a fake ID to access a farm and then film the activities there.

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