And the next secretary of agriculture is……still up in the air. President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration is just two days away and there is still no word on a nomination for agriculture secretary. The delay apparently is having an effect across the transition because sub-cabinet nominees won’t be named until all of the nominations are final. In this week's edition of Agri-Pulse, we look at the ripple effect of the delay across the department.

There is still wide speculation that former Gov. Sonny Perdue will get the nomination, but other names are still surfacing. The last known "aggie" to grace Trump Tower was Indiana Director of Agriculture Ted McKinney, but we don’t know if he interviewed for the top USDA slot.

As we reported in today's Daybreak, Latino groups have been promoting former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, who is already in Washington this week - based on posts on his Twitter account. "What a beautiful elegant hotel," one tweet said about the new Trump International Hotel.

Regardless of who is named, we hope to see many of you at the inaugural festivities on Friday.

Other nominees important to agriculture are starting to move through the nomination process and we've got a report on Rep. Ryan Zinke's nomination hearing for Interior Secretary in this week's issue. Later today, Senate Democrats will be going after Scott Pruitt's record as Oklahoma attorney general – attempting to derail his nomination to run the EPA.

Here are the headlines in this week's issue:

• Late selection of secretary slows naming of USDA officials
• Zinke wants to work with states, localities to manage federal lands
• EPA eases requirements in final pesticide applicator regulations
• USDA moving ahead with organic checkoff
• Moving the ranching mindset: Profit in switch to May/June calving
• New EPA policies on bees and pesticides draw mixed reviews
• USDA aims to steer soldiers into ag before they leave the military
• Rural death rate higher due to accidents, drugs, limited health care
• Oh Deer! Captive operations expand, but challenges remain
• Rural Tractor Brigade showcased for inauguration
• Sanderson Farms opens new processing plant
• Avian flu outbreak -- in NYC cats
• NIH links to IARC probed by House committee
• Farm Hands on the Potomac: Thieman, Russell, Graves, Carney, Scuse, Vilsack, Almanza, Bush, Frank, Chao, Bush, Adams, Perin, Soubra, Dykes, Baglien, Young, Ernst, Carstensen, Roberts, Emerson, and Helms

Best regards,

Sara Wyant

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