Jenny Lester Moffitt was confirmed by the Senate Wednesday as undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs at USDA, where she will oversee the Agricultural Marketing Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Moffitt has been serving as undersecretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the No. 2 role at CDFA. She is also an organic walnut farmer and has worked at American Farmland Trust and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Ranking Member John Boozman, R-Ark., welcomed her confirmation, which occurred on a voice vote. 

Stabenow said Moffitt “brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective as both a farmer and a policy maker,” adding that she looks forward to working with her “to help our farm families and food businesses along the supply chain recover from the pandemic, tackle the climate crisis, keep pests and diseases out of the U.S., and thrive well into the future.” 

Interested in more coverage and insights? Receive a free month of Agri-Pulse West

Boozman said he looks forward to working with Moffitt “to increase market opportunities for producers, and believe she will work in good faith to carry out the regulatory authorities for which she will be responsible in a manner that is consistent with congressional intent.”

The Senate Ag Committee on Tuesday approved the nominations of Robert Bonnie as undersecretary for farm production and conservation, and former Rep. Xochitl Torres Small, D-N.M., to be undersecretary for rural development.

Several major positions  at USDA still need a nominee: Undersecretary for food safety;  undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs; assistant secretary for civil rights; and undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services. 

Also Wednesday, the Senate confirmed former Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar to be ambassador to Mexico.

For more news, go to