The Biden administration announced Monday its plan to nominate Elaine Trevino, president of the Almond Alliance of California and former deputy secretary for the California Department of Food and Agriculture, to be the next chief agricultural trade negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
The Biden administration is filling Senate-confirmed positions at the Agriculture Department at a slow pace similar to Donald Trump’s first year in office and well behind the rate at which Barack Obama stocked his sub-Cabinet positions.
Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow is seeking a federal ethics investigation into a business deal between former Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and agribusiness giant Archers Daniels Midland. The Washington Post reported this week that Perdue in early 2017 purchased an ADM soybean facility for $250,000 that was worth millions.
The USDA is reversing a rule proposed during the Trump Administration that would have tightened the categorical eligibility rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and removed eligibility for up to 3 million people.
The Department of the Interior has announced new leadership, former EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler has joined The Heritage Foundation, and Blake Rollins has been selected to serve as Missouri Farm Bureau’s chief administrative officer.
Wisconsin native Kelliann Blazek has been brought on to the Biden administration as a special assistant to the president for agriculture and rural policy, and Sonny Perdue joins the board of directors at Kalera.
Tom Vilsack, set to take a historic second stint as agriculture secretary, is pledging to make climate change and racial justice top priorities for the Agriculture Department, assuring senators that he understands the times and challenges have changed since he left the government four years ago.