President Donald J. Trump’s selection of three individuals for key positions within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is receiving nods of approval. Gregory Ibach has been selected as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP), Bill Northey as Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC), and Stephen Vaden as USDA’s General Counsel.
The Under Secretary for MRP oversees three critical USDA agencies: the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; the Agricultural Marketing Service; and the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration. The Under Secretary for FPAC oversees three critical USDA agencies: the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency.
“I look forward to the confirmations of Greg Ibach, Bill Northey, and Stephen Vaden, and urge the Senate to take up their nominations as quickly as possible,” Perdue said. “This is especially important given the challenges USDA will face in helping Texans and Louisianans recover from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.”
On Friday, Governor Pete Ricketts congratulated Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach on the news.
“During his twelve years as director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Greg helped grow Nebraska by building the Nebraska brand and Nebraska’s international trade relationships,” said Governor Ricketts. “Greg brings outstanding experience to this role. While we will miss Greg’s day-to-day presence here in Nebraska, he will continue to be a resource for Nebraska as we partner with him in his new role as well as a tremendous asset to the USDA and President Trump’s Administration. I urge the President to send his nomination to the U.S. Senate, and urge senators to take up his confirmation in a timely manner.”
Governor Ricketts noted that Ibach will bring broad experience to this new role from his work with Nebraska’s animal and plant health programs as well as the livestock disease tractability program. Ibach, a lifelong rancher and farmer, has also been active in the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture since his appointment as NDA’s director in 2005 serving as chair of the marketing and international trade committee, animal and plant health committee, and, most recently, as president.
The National Corn Growers Association today congratulated Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on his nomination to Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Bill Northey is a longtime friend of NCGA and a passionate advocate for farmers. We congratulate him on this well-deserved appointment, and we urge the Senate to move quickly to confirm him,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock. “His roots in production agriculture run deep. He will give farmers and ranchers a senior-level voice on important issues such as risk management and conservation programs, especially as we craft the next farm bill.”
Northey is a fourth-generation farmer who grows corn and soybeans near Spirit Lake, Iowa. Throughout his career, he has been a leader in a variety of agricultural groups, including serving as President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association from 1991-92 and President and Chairman of the National Corn Growers Association from 1995-97. In his three terms as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, he has promoted science- and technology-based solutions to better conserve soil, water, and air, and helped to expand the state’s ethanol infrastructure.
“We’re pleased to see another strong, experienced leader nominated in Bill Northey, and we wish him a speedy confirmation process. We also urge the Administration and the Senate to continue filling out the entire USDA leadership team, so that we can move agriculture forward through these challenging times.”