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President Biden nominates Xochitl Torres Small as USDA deputy secretary

President Biden nominates Xochitl Torres Small as USDA deputy secretary

Xochitl Torres Small could replace Jewel Bronaugh

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

President Biden has revealed who he wants to replace Dr. Jewel Bronaugh as the second in command within the United States Department of Agriculture.

On Feb. 15, the president announced Xochitl Torres Small, who’s been the under secretary for rural development since 2021, to be his deputy secretary nominee.

“The granddaughter of farmworkers, Torres Small grew up in the borderlands of New Mexico,” the president’s nomination says. She has worked as a Field Representative for Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), clerked for United States District Court Judge Robert C. Brack, and served as an attorney practicing water and natural resources law.

Torres Small’s nomination comes after Dr. Bronaugh announced her resignation in January to spend more time with her family.

Torres Small first entered politics in 2018, winning the seat in New Mexico’s 2nd congressional district.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is pleased with the president’s choice.

Torres Small has always supported rural communities, and stepping into the role as deputy secretary of the USDA will allow that work to continue, he said.

“Her expertise will further USDA’s mission to advance equity and opportunity in and for rural America, and USDA’s commitment to build an organization invested in the success of its workforce and the customers we serve,” he said in a statement.

Torres Small will require Senate confirmation before assuming the position.

Until that happens, and after Dr. Bronaugh officially resigns, Kevin Shea, administrator of the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, will serve as acting deputy secretary.

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