The Trump Administration continues its work on filling key positions across the administration and an announcement Friday helps fill key posts at USDA, though two states will now be without their ag secretaries.
The administration tapped Bill Northey, currently a third term ag secretary of Iowa, and Greg Ibach, Nebraska's director of Agriculture. The third post is Stephen Vaden, who has been working with USDA since the election.
The administration announced that Ibach will be Under Secretary for marketing and Regulatory Programs, which overseas three key USDA agencies - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; Agricultural Marketing Service; and the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.
Northey has been named Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, which oversees the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Risk Management Agency. Earlier this year observers reported that Northey was in line for this post.
Vaden has been named as USDA's General Counsel.
In a press statement in response to the announcement, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue commented: "I look forward to the confirmations of Greg Ibach, Bill Northey, and Stephen Vaden, and urge the Senate to take up their nominations as quickly as possible. This is especially important given the challenges USDA will face in helping Texans and Louisianans recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.
Perdue commented on each of the individuals named to the new posts:
Greg Ibach: "Greg Ibach will bring the experience and vision necessary to serve as a first rate Under Secretary for MRP at USDA. His exemplary tenure as Nebraska's Director of Agriculture places him squarely in tune with the needs of American agriculture, particularly the cattle industry. His proven track record of leadership will make him a great asset to USDA's customers, the hard working, taxpaying people of U.S. agriculture."
Bill Northey: "Bill Northey will continue his honorable record of public service in leading FPAC. Having served the people of Iowa for the last ten years as their Secretary of Agriculture, and as a fourth generation corn and soybean farmer, Bill has a unique understanding of issues facing farmers across the nation. He will be an invaluable member of the team."
Stephen Vaden: "Stephen Vaden has a keen legal mind, as we have already experienced through his work since he joined USDA as part of the beachhead team on day one. He has a firm grasp of the legal issues facing American agriculture, and very importantly, understands the breadth and complexity of the regulatory burdens placed on our producers. Our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers will be well served by his counsel."