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Torres Small Confirmed as New Deputy Secretary

UPDATED 11:39am Tuesday, July 11th

(WASHINGTON D.C.)– Xochitl Torres Small, the current Under Secretary for Rural Development, has been confirmed by the Senate to become the new Deputy Secretary of Agriculture at USDA.

On a vote of 79-8, Torres Small was confirmed on Monday evening to become the number two official at USDA. She replaces Jewel Bronaugh, who stepped down from the role earlier this year.

Torres Small is expected to be sworn in sometime next week at USDA headquarters.

Various industry groups and political leaders are applauding the confirmation of Torres Small as the new USDA Deputy Secretary. View those releases below

Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Confirmation of Xochitl Torres Small as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2023 – Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on the confirmation of Xochitl Torres Small as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“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. 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.

“At this critical time when USDA and the Biden-Harris Administration are laser-focused on mobilizing historic investments to rebuild our economy and secure healthier, more vibrant communities for future generations, I am grateful to have Xochitl’s partnership at the helm of the People’s Department. 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.”

Since October 2021, Torres Small has served as Under Secretary for Rural Development at USDA. Effective July 14, Rural Development Chief Operating Officer Roger Glendenning will serve as Acting Under Secretary.

Prior to joining USDA, Torres Small was a United States Representative for the fifth largest district in the country. As a Member of Congress, she served as a member of the House Agriculture Committee, the House Armed Services Committee and as chairwoman of the Oversight, Management, and Accountability Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee. Xochitl was the first woman and first person of color to represent New Mexico’s second congressional district.

Soy: Torres Small Confirmation Big Plus for Ag

Washington, D.C. July 11, 2023. The American Soybean Association and soy growers expect the confirmation of Xochitl Torres Small as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be a positive for agriculture.

ASA Chief Executive Officer Stephen Censky, who served in the position from 2017-2020, said, “Torres Small’s comprehensive background in D.C. will bring great value and insight to the position—from her time as a district court clerk, attorney working in water and natural resources law, on through her service in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she was a member of the House Agriculture Committee, and most recently with USDA Rural Development.”

In a letter signed by ASA and other organizations in support of Torres Small’s nomination in March, the groups said, “Under Secretary [of Rural Development] Torres Small has demonstrated a deep commitment to addressing challenges in the agricultural supply chain, fostering economic opportunities and security through rural infrastructure investments, and fighting for the needs of rural Americans. Her dedication to public service and skilled administration of USDA’s Rural Development mission area make her uniquely qualified for the role of Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.”

ASA was pleased to work with Deputy Secretary Jewell Bronaugh during her time with the department and looks forward to continuing positive relations with USDA and Torres Small.

State agriculture departments congratulate Torres Small on confirmation to Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2023

ARLINGTON, Va. — Following the confirmation of Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture CEO Ted McKinney released the following statement:

“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. With her experience leading the industry as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Rural Development and her perspective on state and local issues as former U.S. representative for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, NASDA is elated at today’s Senate confirmation and looks forward to her leadership.

NASDA congratulates Deputy Secretary Torres Small and thanks the U.S. Senate for its approval of an excellent leader for U.S. agriculture.”

NMPF Applauds Xochitl Torres Small’s Confirmation as Deputy Agriculture Secretary

ARLINGTON, VA – From NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern:

“On behalf of America’s dairy farmers and their cooperatives, we congratulate Xochitl Torres Small on her Senate confirmation as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Her rich family heritage in agriculture, as well as her career in public service in Congress and at USDA, will bring valuable perspective to the position, and we know she will bring great insight and energy to her new role. We look forward to continuing our work together to tackle the many pressing issues that affect agriculture and our rural communities.”

CRA CONGRATULATES USDA DEPUTY SECRETARY XOCHITL TORRES SMALL

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, John Bode, President and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), made the following statement regarding the confirmation of Xochitl Torres Small as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

“CRA congratulates Xochitl Torres Small, the newly confirmed Deputy Secretary of USDA. Her proven track record, dedication to food and farm policy, focus on rural prosperity, and dedication to advancing diversity will continue to propel the agriculture industry forward. We appreciate USDA’s commitment to advancing rural communities and the confirmation of Deputy Secretary Torres Small further exemplifies that commitment and understanding. We will continue to work with her to advance priorities that promote innovation, growth, and economic progress in America, specifically within the growing ag bioeconomy.”

Statement from the International Dairy Foods Association on the Confirmation of Xochitl Torres Small as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture at the U.S. Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2023— Michael Dykes, D.V.M., President and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, released the following statement today on the confirmation of Xochitl Torres Small as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture at the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

“On behalf of U.S. dairy processors, retailers, and cooperatives working each day to provide nutritious and sustainable dairy foods to people around the world, the International Dairy Foods Association congratulates Ms. Xochitl Torres Small on her historic confirmation as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. The U.S. dairy industry supports more than 3 million jobs across the country and ships a record number of nourishing dairy products to consumers around the world each year. As major contributors to the agricultural and national economies, U.S. dairy processors stand ready to work with Deputy Secretary conferee Torres Small as she works alongside Secretary Vilsack to deliver nutrition security, conservation programs, rural development, preferential export access for U.S. businesses, and so much more on behalf of the USDA and its constituents. Her deep experience in government and passion for economic development will benefit all people.”

Ranking Member David Scott Applauds Confirmation of Xochitl Torres Small as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture

WASHINGTON – House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member David Scott today released the below statement following the confirmation of Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small as U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture by the U.S. Senate.

“I want to congratulate Under Secretary Xochitl Torres Small on her confirmation as United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. 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 in New Mexico and across the country. This is a well-deserved achievement that reflects her fierce dedication to and hard work on behalf of America’s agriculture sector. I am confident that she will continue working with that same passion and commitment in her new role, and I look forward to continuing our work together as the House Agriculture Committee crafts a farm bill that ensures America’s farmers, ranchers, and foresters have the support they need to succeed.”

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