Xochitl Torres Small has officially been confirmed as the new Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Industry groups and lawmakers have expressed considerable support for the confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Torres Small has been serving as Under Secretary for Rural Development since 2021.
In congratulating Torres Small on her new position, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott expressed confidence in her abilities. “When we worked together as members of the House Agriculture Committee, I was always impressed by her passion for the issues and unwavering advocacy for the farmers, ranchers, and foresters,” Scott noted.
Torres Small had been nominated back in February after Jewel Bronaugh announced her decision to step down. By March, more than 50 food and agricultural groups issued a letter of support for her nomination. Previously, Torres Small has served as a U.S. Representative for the fifth largest district in the country. National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Ted McKinney said the organization is “elated” by the Senate confirmation. “Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small has a proven record of championing solutions for the agricultural supply chain and fostering economic growth for communities across the nation,” McKinney noted.
As a Representative, Torres Small served as a member of the House Agriculture Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. She also served as chairwoman of the Oversight, Management, and Accountability subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee. The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and the National Milk Producers Federation have pointed out Torres Small’s experience as being an asset for her new position. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack applauded her leadership as part of the Rural Development team and expressed confidence in her abilities as Deputy Secretary.
“I am grateful to have Xochitl’s partnership at the helm of the People’s Department,” Vilsack noted. “She has time and again met the moment with a collaborative approach and a can-do spirit, and I applaud Congress for confirming her as USDA’s next Deputy Secretary.”
Ag News Director / AgNet West