Rural Group Urges Biden to Pick Well-Qualified, Diverse USDA Leaders

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The Rural Coalition urges President-elect Joe Biden to select highly qualified leaders for Department of Agriculture politically appointed positions. The group of more than 70 food and farming organizations sent the request to the incoming administration in a recent letter.

The letter calls on Biden to choose USDA mission and agency leaders who deeply understand how to utilize the full range of USDA programs to achieve his goals of racial justice, climate change, and pandemic recovery.  The letter states, “We have the opportunity and imperative now to work together to make things happen in a way that didn’t happen before,” at USDA.

Further, the organization says Biden should start doing so by nominating Native American Agriculture Fund CEO Janie Simms Hipp as the USDA Deputy Secretary. Hipp is the former senior advisor for tribal relations to former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and director of the Office of Tribal Relations. The letter adds, “We stand ready to work with a progressive and racially diverse leadership team at USDA.”