One down: Senate confirms under secretary post at USDA

Meatingplace, By Rita Jane Gabbett on 10/27/2017

The slow process of Congressional approval of Trump administration appointments inched forward this week as the Senate approved Greg Ibach as USDA’s under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs.

Ibach will supervise policy development and oversee day-to-day operations of the Agricultural Marketing Service, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.

Perdue will travel to Omaha, Neb., on Monday to swear-in Ibach.

“Greg Ibach will bring experience and integrity to his new role at USDA, and carries with him the knowledge he’s gained in the dozen years he has served as Nebraska’s Director of Agriculture. His expertise in a wide cross-section of agricultural issues will be invaluable to our customers: the farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers of America,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a statement.

The National Pork Producers Council applauded the confirmation.

“Director Ibach will be a great asset at USDA for American agriculture,” said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff. “Farmers and ranchers couldn’t ask for a better person to lead this key USDA department.”

Still no food safety nominee

The Trump administration has yet to nominate a candidate for under secretary for food safety, a post the Obama administration left vacant after Dr. Elisabeth Hagen left the post in December 2013.

According to Food Safety News, possible candidates include Director of the International Center for Food Industry at Texas Tech University Mindy Brashears and Assistant Director of the Division of Animal and Public Health of the American Veterinary Medical Association Christina Hoang, who is a veterinarian.