The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture is getting a well-known figure in the ag policy arena for its next CEO: Former U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney.

“I am honored to be chosen for this position, and I am delighted to continue serving our country through advocating for state departments of agriculture,” said McKinney, who was the top trade official at USDA during the Trump administration. “Moving forward, I’m excited to set new horizons for NASDA and ensure agriculture thrives in our states and territories.”

McKinney, an Indiana native and renowned for his intense global travel itinerary as he visited nation after nation on trade missions to promote U.S. ag exports as well as strengthen ties with foreign leaders, will start the new job on Sept. 27, replacing Barb Glenn, who has held the role since 2014. Glenn announced her intent to retire earlier this year. 

McKinney played a role in negotiating the agricultural aspects of the Economic and Trade Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, known commonly as the “phase one” agreement. He was also involved in the implementation as the two countries worked out issues, such as China’s promise to consider lifting its zero-tolerance policy on ractopamine residues in pork and beef.

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“Mr. McKinney’s exceptional background reflects the spirit of NASDA’s ambition to unite state, federal and industry leaders around the best solutions for farmers, ranchers and the communities they serve,” said Ryan Quarles, the group’s president and Kentucky's commissioner. “His highly distinguished experience advocating for U.S. agriculture will bring strength to NASDA’s federal partnerships.”

Prior to USDA, McKinney was director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. He also spent 19 years at Dow AgroSciences and 14 years at Elanco.

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