Trump nominates Stephen Censky for USDA deputy secretary

by Holly Demaree
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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has named Stephen Censky as his nominee for the US Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) deputy secretary position.

“Our work has only just begun in delivering results for the people of American agriculture, and the experience and leadership skills of Stephen Censky will only enhance our efforts,” said Sonny Perdue, USDA secretary. “He will bring enthusiasm and a dedication to this country that will be great assets to USDA’s customers. I am extremely pleased with the nomination for this key position and am hopeful that the senate will take it up in short order.”

Stephen Censky, American Soybean Association
Stephen Censky

He has served as the American Soybean Association’s (ASA) CEO for the past 21 years. The ASA is the national, not-for-profit trade association that represents US soybean farmers on policy and trade.

The transition would mark a return to both Washington, DC, and USDA for Censky.

Censky began his career working as a legislative assistant for Sen. Jim Abdnor. Later he served in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations at the USDA, eventually serving as administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service where he was involved in running US export programs.

Censky received his bachelor of science in agriculture from South Dakota State Univ. and his postgraduate diploma in agriculture science from the Univ. of Melbourne, Australia. He grew up on a soybean, corn, and diversified livestock farm near Jackson, Minnesota.

Richard Wilkins, president of the ASA, believes the leadership and advocacy he saw from Censky will benefit the USDA and US as a whole.

“ASA is better and stronger because of the work of Steve Censky,” Wilkins said. “He has helped us grow through our advocacy for farmers in Washington, and our service to them in their communities. We will be sad to lose his leadership, but glad to know that it will benefit millions of Americans who rely on the work of the department every day.”

The Senate Agriculture Committee has not announced when it will hold a hearing on Censky’s nomination.

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