Taylor Nominated as Undersecretary for Trade and U.S. Agricultural Affairs at USDA


On Friday, President Joe Biden announced that he is nominating Alexis Taylor as the Undersecretary for Trade and U.S. Agricultural Affairs at USDA. Taylor is currently the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Taylor has also served on Capitol Hill as a ag policy expert and managed USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Services. Multiple farm groups came out in support of the nomination of Taylor to the undersecretary position at USDA. Read those reactions below:


Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Intent to Nominate Alexis Taylor to Serve as Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2022 – “Alexis Taylor has dedicated her life to public service. She has not only spent her career serving the American people through her work in U.S. agricultural and trade policy, but also as a Veteran of the U.S. Army. Her nomination builds upon USDA’s commitment to link U.S. agriculture to the world to enhance export opportunities for American farmers and producers and increase global food security. Alexis currently serves as the Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, a position she was appointed to in December 2016 by Governor Kate Brown, where she oversees policy directives for Oregon’s 38 programs and its 500 employees. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minor in Communications from Iowa State University.

Alexis is a collaborative leader with a track record of working towards large-scale solutions in partnership with the communities she serves. This spirit and approach position her uniquely for this role and will ensure cohesiveness between USDA and the Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs team. I am confident Alexis is the right person to lead as we continue to address global food security, promote American exports across the globe and strengthen trade relationships with our global partners.”

NCGA on Ag Undersecretary Nominee Taylor: No Better Person for Position

President Biden announced today that he is appointing Alexis Taylor as undersecretary for trade and U.S. agricultural affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Taylor, currently the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, has extensive experience working on agricultural issues.

“I have known Alexis in a professional capacity for well over a decade, and she is someone with a deep understanding of agriculture, particularly as it relates to foreign markets, and she is widely respected by policymakers on both sides of the aisle,” said Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers Association. “I cannot think of a better person to represent the Biden administration on this issue.”

Taylor has served as a policy expert on ag issues for several members of Congress on Capitol Hill and managed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. An Iraq veteran, Taylor grew up in Iowa on her family’s 160-year-old farm.

Taylor’s nomination will now go before the Senate for final confirmation.

NASDA celebrates Director Alexis Taylor’s nomination to USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs

ARLINGTON, VA — The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture congratulates Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Alexis Taylor on her nomination to U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.

“I’ve known Alexis from her previous time served at USDA and more recently as she served as a NASDA member from Oregon. From these experiences, I offer my enthusiastic endorsement for her candidacy. We know Director Taylor’s passion for seeking market opportunities for American farmers, ranchers and food producers of all types. Her previous experience at USDA, her character and her deep understanding of how regulations across the globe matter for individuals in our communities will benefit all Americans,” said NASDA CEO Ted McKinney.

“I’m honored to congratulate my friend and colleague, Alexis Taylor, on her nomination as USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. It’s great to see a fellow member of NASDA take on this opportunity, and I know that her tremendous talent, experience, and knowledge of agriculture make Ms. Taylor well suited to thrive in this role and lead us forward in developing new trade markets for America’s farmers and ranchers. I fully support her nomination and ask the Senate to expedite her confirmation,” said NASDA President, New York Commissioner of Agriculture Richard A. Ball.

Director Taylor served on the 2020-2021 NASDA Board of Directors sharpening states’ impact on federal agricultural policy. Taylor also served on the NASDA Foundation Board from 2018-2022, developing and discovering new resources for state agriculture departments to better serve constituents.

In an interview shortly after Taylor was appointed to Director for the Oregon Department of Agriculture, NASDA asked her, “In seven words or less, what is some advice you would offer your fellow agriculturalists?”

Taylor responded, “Challenge yourself and others to think differently.”

“We know, as she has for Oregon, Director Taylor will continue to press U.S. agriculture to reach new heights and embrace new opportunities,” McKinney said.

Taylor helped pioneer the development of the NASDA Foundation Women’s Farm2Food Accelerator program, enabling budding women food and beverage entrepreneurs to reach new markets for their products. Participants receive training in marketing, product development, food safety, food packaging and more. Oregon hosted one of the original pilot programs for the Women’s Farm2Food Accelerator. Now, the program is administered by multiple states across the U.S., training 50 women each year.

Dairy Groups Endorse Alexis Taylor Nomination as USDA’s Top Trade Official

ARLINGTON, VA – The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) today praised the nomination of Alexis Taylor to serve as USDA’s Under Secretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.
“This position is essential to the health and well-being of American agriculture, and especially the nation’s dairy farmers, who last year exported over 17% of the milk they produced,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “We are extremely pleased that the Biden Administration has selected such a well-qualified nominee as Ms. Taylor. She has done an excellent job in her prior government service roles and we know will be a strong advocate for U.S. dairy and agriculture as Under Secretary of Trade. We look forward to supporting her throughout the nomination process and working closely with her in her new role once confirmed by the Senate.”
“Consumers around the world seek out American dairy products when making their food decisions,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “Unfortunately, ensuring our products reach international store shelves is an unending struggle, working to overcome barriers to trade while also striving to create new market access opportunities. With her wealth of leadership experience at both USDA and at the state level, Ms. Taylor is perfectly positioned to serve American farmers, the broader agricultural industry, and American workers throughout the agricultural supply chain in this indispensable role. The Senate should act quickly to confirm this outstanding nominee.”

IDFA Welcomes the Nomination of USDA Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor, Urges Confirmation

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2022—Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, released the following statement today in support of the nomination of Alexis Taylor, a veteran of Capitol Hill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Army, for the long-vacant role of Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at USDA:

“IDFA is very encouraged to see Alexis Taylor nominated for Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at USDA. Ms. Taylor’s depth of experience in trade issues in previous, senior roles at the Department and presently with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, along with her longstanding commitment to advancing agricultural policy and U.S. exports, make her an ideal nominee for the position. She has been a strong supporter of the U.S. dairy industry and we are confident that, should she be confirmed, Ms. Taylor will continue to advance market opportunities for U.S. dairy around the world. We strongly urge the U.S. Senate to expedite a hearing to advance her nomination.

“Along with many agricultural sectors, IDFA’s trade priorities have moved slowly without the presence of either a Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative or this position at USDA being filled. With Ms. Taylor’s nomination, IDFA looks to her leadership for resolving ongoing problems with the implementation of the U.S./EU dairy certificate, advancing a strategic outcome of the USMCA dispute on Canadian dairy tariff-rate quota administration, resolving long-term outstanding issues with Indonesia’s facility registration process, and growing market opportunities for U.S. dairy, among others.

“IDFA congratulates Alexis Taylor on her nomination and will be working with key congressional offices to urge her swift confirmation so that the dairy industry may have a stronger voice in trade policy decisions impacting our global competitiveness.”

Thompson Applauds Biden’s Nominee for Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs

WASHINGTON, DC — House Agriculture Committee Republican Leader Glenn “GT” Thompson issued the following statement regarding President Biden’s nomination of Alexis Taylor to serve as the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

“While I would have preferred to see this nomination much sooner, I am pleased President Biden has selected Alexis Taylor to serve as the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. This position is immensely helpful to our producers, will expand market access and trade promotion opportunities, and can assist the Administration in navigating the unyielding global supply chain crisis. Today’s announcement is one step of many needed to demonstrate this Administration prioritizes trade. I urge the Senate to move expeditiously with the confirmation process and look forward to working with Ms. Taylor.”

AFIA Welcomes Nomination of Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs

ARLINGTON, Va. – May 13, 2022 – The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) welcomes the nomination of Alexis Taylor as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s undersecretary of trade and foreign agricultural affairs. President Joe Biden’s announcement today is vital as the U.S. animal food industry’s ability to grow relies on filling the increasing need for animal protein and dairy foods in export markets.

Below is a statement from AFIA President and CEO Constance Cullman regarding the nomination:

“Alexis Taylor‘s extensive experience working on behalf of U.S. agricultural trade interests as deputy undersecretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service during the Obama administration, while leading the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and in Congress is welcome in this challenging environment. This experience makes her an ideal candidate for representing and advocating on behalf of U.S. agricultural interests to expand export opportunities and maintain U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace.

“We look forward to working with Ms. Taylor to leverage opportunities to maintain science and evidence-based international standards, mitigate trade barriers and open new markets for the U.S. animal food industry.”

The U.S. animal food manufacturing industry relies heavily on trade. In 2021, U.S. animal feed and pet food manufacturers exported over $7.5 billion in products, including $5.5 billion in feed and feed ingredients and $2 billion in pet food products, a 22% increase in value over 2020. The industry’s exports support thousands of jobs across the feed industry and associated industries, and ensure that global farmers have access to the latest animal feed ingredients to help them produce food more efficiently and sustainably.