Senate Confirms Censky and McKinney for USDA
By Jerry Hagstrom, DTN Political Correspondent
The Senate late Tuesday confirmed President Donald Trump’s nominations of Stephen Censky as Agriculture deputy secretary and Ted McKinney as Agriculture undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs.
Censky has been the CEO of American Soybean Association in St. Louis and McKinney has been the Indiana agriculture director.
Until now Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has been the only Senate-confirmed political appointee at the Agriculture Department, and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said in a news release he was pleased to provide Perdue some help.
“I am pleased that the U.S. Senate was able to work in a bipartisan and swift manner to confirm Stephen Censky and Ted McKinney,” Roberts said. “Secretary Perdue, help is on the way.”
Perdue commended the Senate for confirming Censky and McKinney, and said they will provide “the steady leadership we need at USDA.”
“Steve Censky will help us be responsive to producers reeling from the effects of multiple hurricanes and also offer prudent counsel as Congress continues work on the 2018 farm bill,” Perdue said.
“Ted McKinney will take charge of the newly-created mission area focused on trade, and wake up every morning seeking to sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets,” Perdue said.
“We eagerly await their arrival at USDA, and urge the Senate to continue to act on other nominees who are awaiting confirmation.”
The National Biodiesel Board was the first farm group to issue congratulations to Censky, noting that the American Soybean Association is a member of the National Biodiesel Board.
“Congratulations to Steve on his confirmation to be deputy secretary of agriculture,” said Donnell Rehagen, chief executive officer at the National Biodiesel Board.
“Steve’s decades of experience in soybeans and biodiesel will serve the agency well. He’s a proven, successful executive, known for providing a clear vision for the agricultural industry and being a tireless advocate for America’s farmers. We wish him the best in this new endeavor.”
A hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee is set for Thursday for the nominations of Greg Ibach and Bill Northey and their respective undersecretary positions at USDA.