Veneman announces three USDA appointments

Veneman also named Michael K. Torrey as deputy assistant secretary for congressional relations and Tom Douglas Sell as director of intergovernmental affairs.

“These three individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Department,” said Veneman. “Each of them will be a valuable addition to the USDA team.”

As deputy under secretary, Gaibler will provide leadership to agencies and programs within the Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services mission. He will offer general direction to programs administered by the Farm Service Agency and the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Risk Management Agency and the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, and the Foreign Agricultural Service.

Gaibler brings than 27 years of experience working on agricultural concerns, nine of those for USDA. He replaces Hunt Shipman, who left USDA to serve as Chief of Staff for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

He most recently was with Lesher & Russell, Inc, a consulting firm specializing in agricultural, food and trade policy issues. He has served as vice president of the Agricultural Retailers Association, vice president of the International Dairy Foods Association, and executive director of the National Cheese Institute/American Butter Institute.

He also has worked for the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture and the Nebraska State Department of Agriculture. He has an M.S. and a B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nebraska. Gaibler began working for USDA again on Feb. 24.

Torrey will replace Wanda Worsham, who will retire at the end of April after a career dedicated to agriculture. As deputy assistant secretary, Torrey will have responsibility for coordinating legislative affairs for USDA. He joins USDA in mid-March.

Torrey has over 13 years of experience in policy development and association management. He comes to USDA from the International Dairy Foods Association where he was senior director of legislative affairs. Torrey has experience with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and served several Members of Congress: Majority Leader Bob Dole, Sen. Sheila Frahm, and Sen. Nancy Kassebaum. He has a B.S. in Agriculture Education from Kansas State University.

As director of intergovernmental affairs with the USDA Office of Congressional Relations, Sell will work closely with multiple levels of government to ensure USDA programs, policies and procedures are coordinated with states, other agencies and Congress. Sell replaces Jim Richards, who left USDA to serve as Chief of Staff for Rep. Steve Pearce.

Prior to his appointment, Sell served as deputy staff director for the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture where he was responsible for all aspects of committee business, including the 2002 farm bill. Prior to that, he was a member of President George W. Bush’s Transition Team for Agriculture and also has worked for Congressmen Larry Combest and Pat Roberts. He has a B.S. in Agribusiness from Texas Tech University. Sell began work at USDA Feb. 24.

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