Trump Taps Tom for United Nations Post

Indiana Farmer Would Oversee Staff From Department of State, USDA, Agency for International Development

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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Indiana farmer Kip Tom is expected to be nominated as a United States representative to the United Nations agencies for food and agriculture in Rome, Italy. (DTN file photo)

OMAHA (DTN) -- President Donald Trump is expected to nominate Leesburg, Indiana, corn and soybean farmer Kip Tom as ambassador and United States representative to the United Nations agencies for food and agriculture in Rome, according to an announcement from the White House on Wednesday.

The United Nations food agencies include the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Program and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Tom is the chairman of Tom Farms, and his agribusiness experience includes work in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, according to a news release from the White House. He also serves as chairman of CereServ Inc., a grain storage operation in Indiana. Tom serves on the boards of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Growth Energy, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Future Farmers of America Foundation and the National 4-H Foundation.

Tom made an unsuccessful run as a conservative, pro-life Republican for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2015-2016 for Indiana's third Congressional district, as a seventh-generation family farmer. Tom was narrowly defeated on May 3, 2016, by a sitting state senator.

According to the farm's website, Tom Farms operates in seven Indiana counties, raising corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and livestock. Today the farm produces seed corn, corn and soybeans used by egg layers, pork, beef and dairy producers and ethanol producers.

"Our operating model across northern Indiana allows us to leverage our internal resources again to support the global consumers need for food, fuel and fiber," a statement on the farm's website says. "Globally, our operations are involved in seed corn and soybeans. Our seed corn production in Argentina allows for the delivery of the latest in genetics and traits to be delivered to producers across the globe. These new genetics and traits deliver value in the improvement of diets, and as well support the delivery of seed products that require fewer pesticides and show an improvement in yields."

According to Tom's biography, Tom served on Trump's agriculture advisory committee during the presidential campaign. From 1994 to 1999, Tom worked as a South American consultant for DuPont.

As ambassador, Tom will oversee staff from the U.S. Department of State, USDA and the Agency for International Development.

Tom would become just the 11th ambassador in a position once held by former 1972 Democratic Party nominee for president and Sen. George McGovern.

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Todd Neeley