WASHINGTON, July 13, 2017 - President Trump has nominated Steve Censky, the CEO of the American Soybean Association for the past 21 years, to be deputy secretary of agriculture. 

The deputy secretary traditionally manages the department’s day-to-day operations. 

“Our work has only just begun in delivering results for the people of American agriculture, and the experience and leadership skills of Stephen Censky will only enhance our efforts,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.  “He will bring enthusiasm and a dedication to this country, which will be great assets to USDA’s customers.  I am extremely pleased with the nomination for this key position and am hopeful that the Senate will take it up in short order.”

Agri-Pulse first reported Censky’s likely nomination two months ago.

Censky, who grew up on a soybean, corn, and diversified livestock farm near Jackson, Minn., graduated from South Dakota State University and began his career working as a legislative assistant for then-Sen. Jim Abdnor, R-S.D. 

He later held positions in USDA in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, eventually serving as administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service. 

He has a postgraduate degree in agriculture science from the University of Melbourne in Australia. He and his wife, Carmen, live in suburban St. Louis and have two daughters, both in college.

"Nobody in agriculture is better equipped to assist Secretary Perdue in meeting the needs of farmers with practical solutions than Steve. He is a perfect fit for this role and we give him our strongest endorsement,” said ASA President Ron Moore of Roseville, Ill.

Chandler Goule, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers, praised Censky as "an aggressive advocate for farmers" who "truly understands how important international trade is to the ag economy, and how critical a strong crop insurance program is for farmers to farm another year when they experience a weather or economic storm.”

The president of the National Corn Growers Association, Texas farmer Wesley Spurlock, said, "With experience leading a large commodity organization, and as a senior leader at USDA and Capitol Hill staffer, Steve is the perfect person to serve as second in command at USDA."