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Dairy Facts 2016

IDFA Joins Food, Ag Groups in Urging Senate to Confirm Censky

Aug 10, 2017
Stephen Censky, CEO of the American Soybean Association
IDFA last month joined more than 100 food and agriculture trade associations and companies to endorse Stephen Censky’s nomination as deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In letters to Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, the groups said Censky is qualified for the position and called for his speedy confirmation.

If confirmed, Censky would be second in command to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. The Senate is set to return from congressional recess on September 5. 

The U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade, of which IDFA is a member, sent a letter citing Censky’s strong ties to agriculture and highlighting his many years as head of the American Soybean Association. The letter also noted Censky’s lifelong agricultural experience and his previous work in the Foreign Agricultural Service at USDA.

“Mr. Censky has dedicated his career to further advancing our sector, strengthening food and agricultural policies to the benefit of all Americans and ensuring our industries’ access to the global economy,” the group said in the letter. “His longstanding leadership in removing trade barriers, negotiating market access openings in foreign markets and resolving complex trade matters affecting agricultural and food interests will be instrumental in growing our sector and creating American jobs.”

Read the letter here.

A group of more 40 trade associations, including IDFA, delivered a letter the same day to the senators to affirm Censky’s extensive agricultural experience and call attention to his work in both domestic and international agricultural trade policy. This letter highlighted Censky’s support of science-based agricultural innovations and his service as a member of USDA’s Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee.

“As organizations that have known and worked closely with Steve Censky for most of his professional career, we can state unequivocally that he is well-qualified to serve as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture,” the group said in the letter.

Read the letter here.

IDFA CEO: “Steve is a great choice”

In a statement welcoming Censky’s nomination last month, Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA, said, “Steve is a great choice for the deputy secretary role. He is well versed in the issues of modern food and agriculture production and has leadership experience at USDA having served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. With this appointment, Secretary Perdue is assembling a strong leadership team.”

Dykes added, “We look forward to working with Steve on several important issues including implementation of flexibility in the school lunch program, expanding agricultural trade and the reauthorization of the farm bill.”

For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at
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