September 27, 2023

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Former New Mexico Congresswoman Xochitil Torres Small has been confirmed as U.S. deputy secretary for agriculture.

The Senate voted 84-8 Tuesday, July 11 to confirm Torres Small as deputy secretary of the Agriculture Department, a post in which she will act as chief operating officer for a sprawling department, according to CQ Roll Call.

According to CQ Roll Call, “As deputy secretary, Torres Small will be responsible for strategic planning for a department that operates 29 agencies and offices and employs about 100,000 people who largely work outside the Beltway.” 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack praised Torres Small’s life-long dedication to helping people in rural communities.

“Xochitl Torres Small has dedicated her career to serving the agriculture industry and the American people, and I have witnessed her lead with energy, authenticity and personal investment that I know will leave an impact on USDA for years to come,” Vilsack said in a news release.

“As the granddaughter of migrant farm workers, Xochitl experienced firsthand the challenges that many producers and rural communities face day in and day out. The hard work and determination she witnessed informs her commitment to public service and her respect for those we serve. Under her leadership, our Rural Development team has made record progress working to drive down energy costs, improve access to high-speed Internet, expand processing capacity to help America’s livestock producers attain fairer prices for their work, and provide affordable housing options for rural residents,” Vilsack added.

Since October 2021, Torres Small has served as under secretary for Rural Development at USDA.

Torres Small represented Southern New Mexico in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2019-2021.

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