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Ag groups support deputy USDA secretary nominee

Ag groups support deputy USDA secretary nominee

President Biden nominated Xochitl Torres Small for the position in February

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Multiple U.S. ag industry organizations support President Biden’s nominee to be the next deputy secretary of the USDA.

Fifty groups signed a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member John Boozman to advocate for Xochil Torres Small to be the next person in that position.

“Her dedication to public service and skilled administration of the USDA’s Rural Development mission makes her uniquely qualified for the role of Deputy Secretary of Agriculture,” says the letter, signed by organizations including the American Farm Bureau, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and the National Pork Producers Council.

In February, the president nominated Xochil Torres Small, the current under secretary of rural development, to replace Jewel Bronaugh as USDA deputy secretary.

Torres Small’s nomination came after Bronaugh’s January resignation to spend more time with her family.

In her role as under secretary of rural development, Torres Small oversees loans and grants. Under her leadership, USDA Rural Development secured $2 billion to support rural broadband.

With the Farm Bill up for renewal, Torres Small can be a useful resource in ensuring farmers and rural communities are supported, the groups said.

“We strongly urge the Committee to quickly advance Under Secretary Torres Small’s nomination so she can continue her important work in this expanded capacity, particularly as the Farm Bill reauthorization process is underway,” the letter said.

It’s unknown when the Senate agriculture committee will hear Torres Small’s nomination.

As of March 24, the Senate’s hearing schedule goes until March 30.

The ag committee is scheduled to meet on March 30 for “hearings to examine forestry in the Farm Bill, focusing on the importance of America’s forests.”

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