U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue gave high marks to Steve Censky and Ted McKinney for their joint appearance before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry on Sept. 19, 2017.
President Trump nominated Censky as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, while McKinney is the president’s choice to be the very first Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. The two await approval of the entire U.S. Senate before beginning work at USDA.
“Today we saw two nominees who are experienced, prepared, and capable of providing the steady leadership we need at USDA, and we can’t wait to get them on board,” Perdue said. “We have accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time in our department, but we need Steve Censky and Ted McKinney to join the team as we face serious challenges in agriculture in the coming months and years.
“With producers in many states just beginning to assess the damages and losses from back-to-back hurricanes – and with wildfires continuing to rage in large swaths of the country – we will need Steve Censky’s counsel to help navigate the landscape. And as Congress continues work on the 2018 Farm Bill, his guidance and input will be invaluable. Likewise, as we continue USDA’s mission of feeding an ever-growing world population, we will need Ted McKinney to be the unapologetic advocate of American agriculture as we expand U.S. access to international markets. He will be the one who wakes up every morning asking where he can sell more American products to foreign consumers. I trust that the Senate will confirm them both in a speedy fashion.”
Censky is the American Soybean Association's CEO, serving in that role since 1996.
McKinney is Indiana Agriculture Director who served on Trump's agriculture advisory committee during the campaign.