Ag Policy Blog

Confirmation Hearings Set for Key USDA Leaders

Jerry Hagstrom
By  Jerry Hagstrom , DTN Political Correspondent
Stephen Censky, CEO of the American Soybean Association, and nominee to be deputy secretary of USDA.

The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing next Tuesday on President Donald Trump’s nominations of Stephen Censky to be Agriculture deputy secretary and Ted McKinney to be Agriculture undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs.

Censky is CEO of the American Soybean Association.

McKinney is the agriculture director for the state of Indiana.

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The hearing would finally advance more nominees potentially for confirmation to USDA. Currently, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is the only Senate-confirmed official working at USDA.

President Donald Trump also on Tuesday announced his intent to nominate Glen Smith, an Iowa farmer and land manager, to be a member of the Farm Credit Administration board for the remainder of a term expiring May 21, 2022.

Smith would succeed the late Kenneth Spearman, whose statutory term expired May 21, 2016; however, Spearman continued to serve as a member of the board until his death on March 27, 2017. The FCA is governed by a three-person board.

Smith is president and co-owner of Smith Land Service, a company he founded in 1982. The company specializes in farm management, land appraisal and farmland brokerage services, working in about 30 Iowa counties. Smith also owns and serves as president of Smith Generation Farms Inc., a family farm operation that encompasses about 2,000 acres of primarily corn and soybeans in western Iowa.

He is a native of Atlantic, Iowa, where he was raised on a diversified crop and livestock farm. His “hands-on” farm experience started at a very early age, when his father was involved in a disabling farm accident, the White House said.

Smith graduated from Iowa State University in 1979 with a bachelor of science in agricultural business. Early in his career, he was with Doane Agricultural Services as state manager of the company’s real estate division.

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