President Donald Trump nominated Kenneth Barbic to be USDA’s Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations.

The Bakersfield, California, native has served as senior director for federal government affairs at Western Growers since 2009. He’s worked on several different issues on behalf of fresh produce farmers, including immigration reform, tax reform and agricultural exports.

Prior to joining Western Growers, Barbic was deputy assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Congressional Affairs from 2007 to 2009. In that capacity, he advocated on behalf of USTR on issues related to agriculture, labor and environmental policy, trade preferences, WTO disputes and negotiations, as well as promoting passage of Free Trade Agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. 

He started his career in Washington with the House Ways and Means Committee.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue applauded the nomination and said that “Ken will bring a wealth of knowledge, insight, and experience to USDA, and I am eager to get him on the job right away.

“Unfortunately, two other qualified nominees, Bill Northey and Stephen Vaden, are still awaiting Senate confirmation. I urge the Senate to take up all three nominations as quickly as possible.”

Northey was nominated to serve as Undersecretary of Farm Production and Conservation, while Vaden was tapped to be USDA's general counsel.

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