WASHINGTON, July 19, 2017 – The White House tonight said President Trump plans to nominate Indiana Agriculture Director Ted McKinney to become USDA’s first undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, and Sam Clovis to be undersecretary for research, education and economics, confirming Agri-Pulse reports in mid-May.

McKinney (pictured above) spent 19 years with Dow AgroSciences, and 14 years with Elanco, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Co. Clovis served as chief policy adviser on the Trump campaign and has been working as a senior White House adviser at USDA since the president took office.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had praise for both men.

“For our new under secretary position emphasizing international trade, I have always said that I want someone who wakes up every morning asking how we can sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets. Ted McKinney is that person” Perdue said in a statement. “His longstanding background in agriculture, economic development, and global issues will make him an unapologetic advocate for U.S. products in the world marketplace.”

Perdue noted that Clovis, an Air Force veteran and a former economics professor, was one of the first people to show up at USDA after the Trump administration took office. Since then, Perdue said, Clovis “has become a trusted adviser and steady hand as we continue to work for the people of agriculture. He looks at every problem with a critical eye, relying on sound science and data, and will be the facilitator and integrator we need. Dr. Clovis has served this nation proudly since he was a very young man, and I am happy he is continuing to serve.”

Earlier this week, the White House said the president has formally sent the Senate the nomination of Steve Censky to be deputy agriculture secretary. Censky is CEO of the American Soybean Association.

Sources also say that another likely nominee, Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, is still bogged down in meeting paperwork requirements. Northey is expected to be named as undersecretary for farm and conservation programs.