Hearing underway for Censky and McKinney nominations

The Senate Ag Committee’s hearing to consider two of the pending USDA nominations is underway.

Steve Censky has been nominated to be the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.

Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts says farmers have said crop insurance and trade are two of their biggest concerns.

Censky says he’s committed to craft a farm bill that provides an adequate safety net for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.  “My experience in talking to farmers across the country is that crop insurance is really the most important element of their risk management program,” he says.  “I very much look forward to working with the committee and the administration to ensure we have an effective and viable crop insurance program.”

Ted McKinney, the nominee for Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, says he’s committed to ensuring agriculture is represented in trade negotiations.  “I think there is something that comes with the position you’ve created – a stand-alone Undersecretary for Trade,” he says.  “I hope that gets us something.  I hope that gets us a lot.  I hope that they’ll look first to us.  But I think we have to earn that trust and that’s what I intend to do with a passion.”

Following today’s hearing, a Committee vote on the nominations will occur in a separate business meeting of the Committee.  That date is to be determined.

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