Ag Policy Blog

Ag Secretary Search Coming Back to Texan Combs

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent

Former Texas Agriculture Secretary Susan Combs is expected to meet with President-elect Donald Trump on Friday, a member of Trump's agriculture advisory committee has told DTN.

Combs was endorsed for the position of Agriculture secretary earlier this month by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas.

Several articles were published about Trump’s candidates for Agriculture secretary, including his meeting Wednesday with former Texas A&M President Elsa Murano.…

Former California lieutenant governor Abel Maldonado met Trump on Wednesday at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, where Trump is spending the holidays, according to transition spokesman Sean Spicer.…

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is scheduled to meet with Trump advisers on Friday. A Texas organization called the Lone Star Project has urged Trump to ask Miller about his many controversies.…

Steve Verett of the Plains Cotton Growers, a Lubbock, Texas-based group, told El Paso Proud that he is not surprised Trump is looking to Texas to fill the position.

“Having never had a secretary of agriculture from Texas, you know we are pretty excited about that,” Verett said. “The secretary of agriculture is the bully pulpit for agriculture, and that’s in all issues when it comes to trade, promotion, foreign policy, and the regulatory arena as well. So we just need someone who understands all of that and would be willing to be a strong advocate for agriculture.

“We have to work with whoever comes into that position,” Verett said. “Our overriding fact is their demonstrated ability and knowledge of agriculture, and all three of those candidates in our opinion would be well suited for the job.”…

Meanwhile, Carrie Castille, a former associate commissioner at the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, has joined Brian Klippenstein on the Agriculture Department “landing team,” the Trump name for the transition team at each federal department.

According to her Linked In biography, Castille worked was associate commissioner and science advisor in the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry from July 2008 to November 2015. Earlier, for nine years, she was an assistant professor at the Louisiana State University Ag Center. She received her Ph.D. from LSU in renewable natural resources with a minor in political science. She also received her master’s degree from LSU in environmental toxicology and bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.


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