Vilsack to lose chief of staff

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Brian Baenig, Chief of Staff, US Department of Agriculture
Brian Baenig (right) will leave USDA on an unspecified date in August, according to news reports. (Photo: USDA)

WASHINGTON –Brian Baenig, chief of staff to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, announced he is leaving his post sometime in August, according to The Hagstrom Report.

Baenig made the announcement via e-mail, although he did not provide details as to his plans.

“USDA has accomplished a great deal since 2009. We worked with Congress to pass an historic and comprehensive farm bill that will positively impact each and every American,” Baenig wrote in the email reported by The Hagstrom Report. “We’ve modernized USDA and its operations, expanding and improving services to rural Americans while saving nearly $1.5 billion in the process.”

Vilsack announced Baenig’s appointment as chief of staff in September 2013. Baenig succeeded Krysta Harden, who went on the become deputy secretary of the USDA.

Baenig has served in several positions with USDA. He was assistant secretary for congressional relations and deputy undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. From 2009 to 2011, Baenig was deputy staff director on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Before that, he was senior policy advisor to Sen. Patrick Leahy and as staff on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also served for several years as a legislative assistant for Sen. Paul Wellstone.

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