Congress plans to start deliberating on the next farm bill later this year. The Senate and House ag committees have begun with initial hearings on the Hill and in the field.

NPPC calls for confirmation vote on 4 nominees

Nominees are Gregg Doud, Bill Northey, Stephen Vaden and Andrew Wheeler.

The National Pork Producers Council is urging Senate leaders to schedule confirmation votes on four Trump administration nominees. 

The nominees:

  • Gregg Doud, chief agricultural negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative,
  • Bill Northey, undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation at USDA
  • Stephen Vaden, USDA’s general counsel and
  • Andrew Wheeler, deputy administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., NPPC asked the Senate to fulfill its “vital role in ensuring that our federal agencies are adequately staffed by moving quickly to schedule votes and confirm.”

“All four candidates are highly qualified, and the positions they will fill are extremely important to the U.S. pork industry and American agriculture,” wrote NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “The nominees will oversee policies and programs that farmers and ranchers depend on.”

Doud currently is president of the Commodity Markets Council, and he previous was a senior aide to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Doud, who grew up on a family farm in Kansas, also worked for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and for U.S. Wheat Associates.

Northey is secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. He previously served as president of the National Corn Growers Association and on Iowa’s USDA Farm Service Agency state committee. 

Vaden, who has been at USDA since Trump’s inauguration, grew up on a family farm in west Tennessee before coming to Washington to work at two of D.C.’s biggest law firms.

Wheeler is the co-leader of the energy practice at the law firm Faegre Baker Daniels and formerly served on the staff of Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., including as the long-time staff director of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He also worked at EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics during both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.

Source: NPPC

Related articles:

Iowa senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst are pushing for Northey’s confirmation. – 

Sen. Jeff Flake has released his hold on Gregg Doud. Flake’s hold was in response to his opposition to a proposal related to seasonal produce. – Office of Senator Jeff Flake

There is unease and mistrust among the more than 250 legal professionals Stephan Vaden will officially oversee if he is confirmed by the Senate. - Politico

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