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Jewel Bronaugh steps down as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture

Jewel Bronaugh steps down as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture

She’s leaving to spend more time with her family

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The second in command at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is leaving her post.

Dr. Jewel Bronaugh announced on Jan. 26 she’s resigning as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.

“It is with mixed emotions that today I am announcing that I will step away from my role as Deputy Secretary in the coming weeks so I can spend more time with my family,” her statement says. “I now look forward to taking some time off to spend more quality time with my mom, husband and four children.”

President Biden nominated Bronaugh for the position in January 2021 and the Senate confirmed her that May.

She became the fourth woman to be deputy secretary and the first woman of color.

While at USDA, Bronaugh led multiple trade missions.

In June 2022, she travelled to the United Kingdom, a market that imported $1.9 billion of U.S. ag products in 2021.

She and other delegates traveled to Kenya and Tanzania in October and November 2022 to find more export opportunities for U.S. ag products.

“We have had a very exciting trade mission, which had the purpose of really trying to support U.S. food and ag exporters in their efforts to boost the sales of high-quality food and ag products and increase the awareness of quality U.S. products in Sub-Saharan Africa during the perfect time to host a trade mission,” she said after the trade mission.

The day before her announcement to leave USDA, Bronaugh participated in a meeting with Wally Adeyemo, deputy secretary of the treasury, about opportunities to advance economic and racial equity and expand access to capital for underserved Americans.

Her duties included administering the oath of office to new USDA employees. She also co-chaired the USDA’s Equity Commission, established in 2021 to address discrimination within the department.

Prior to her time at USDA, she served as Virginia’s 16th ag commissioner.

The American Farm Bureau Federation thanked Bronaugh for her work at USDA.

“We’ve enjoyed working with Deputy Secretary Bronaugh for the last two years of her tenure at USDA and we thank her for her service to America’s farmers and ranchers,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a statement. “She has long been someone who understands the needs of farmers and rural communities, and we’ve appreciated her leadership. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”

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