Bronaugh has served as Virginia’s commissioner of agriculture since 2018
By Diego Flammini
President-elect Biden has chosen who he wants to serve as his second in command within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Biden tapped Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, Virginia’s ag commissioner, to be the deputy secretary of the federal ag department, he announced Monday.
She became Virginia’s ag commissioner in 2018. Her industry experience also includes serving as the Virginia State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency and as a 4-H extension specialist at Virginia State University.
Dr. Bronaugh is looking forward to this new chapter and the challenges it brings.
She thanked the president-elect in a Twitter post “for the opportunity to promote U.S. agriculture, helping end hunger in the U.S. and abroad and preserving our nation’s natural resources.”
Dr. Bronaugh still needs to undergo the confirmation process before the Senate. If confirmed, she will be the first woman of color and first Virginian to hold the position of deputy secretary.
Industry groups and individuals took to social media with messages of support.
“So proud my friend Dr. Jewel Bronaugh has been nominated to be the next Dep Sec of USDA,” Krysta Harden wrote on Twitter. “She will be terrific. She has the right talent, experience and passion for the job. Congratulations!”
Harden is a former USDA deputy secretary, serving from 2013 to 2016 under President Obama.
“We congratulate her on this historical nomination; as it’s fitting that it comes on #MLKDay,” the Federation of Southern Cooperatives wrote on Twitter.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) also welcomed Bronaugh.
Her nomination paired with Biden’s nomination of Tom Vilsack as ag secretary shows the president-elect understands the ag landscape.
Biden’s choices show he “is carefully considering the challenges of our nation’s farmers and ranchers,” Zippy Duvall, president of the AFBF, said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the new leadership at USDA to ensure American agriculture continues to lead the world in growing safe, affordable food.”