WASHINGTON – Stephen Censky will be heading to familiar territory when he leaves his post as Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture on Nov. 8. The American Soybean Association (ASA), where Censky spent 21 years at the helm, said he is returning to the organization as chief executive officer.
Censky was sworn-in as Deputy Secretary on Oct. 11, 2017, after being unanimously confirmed by the US Senate.
“It has been a true honor to serve my country on behalf of American agriculture,” Censky said. “These past few years have seen tremendous developments, and I am humbled to have served a role in implementing a Farm Bill, launching the USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda, supporting America’s farmers against trade retaliation, and now assisting farmers and ranchers and feeding families affected by the coronavirus pandemic. I want to thank Secretary Perdue for trusting in me and giving me the opportunity to conduct the important work that affects the daily lives of so many Americans. It has been tremendously rewarding to also work as Chief Operating Officer of one of the largest departments in the federal government to assist Secretary Perdue and our team at USDA in greatly improving customer service, operational effectiveness and efficiency.”
Censky is no stranger to public service at the federal level. He began his career working as a legislative assistant for Sen. Jim Abdnor (R-SD). 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 the nation’s export programs.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, “There is no doubt that I personally, as well as the whole USDA family will miss Steve’s experience, preparedness, and steady leadership. During his tenure as Deputy Secretary, we accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time even in the face of serious challenges in American agriculture.
“Steve’s roots are in agriculture and he is one of the best and most professional public servants America has. His wise counsel helped us make USDA the most efficient, effective, customer-focused department in the entire federal government, and I am forever grateful for his invaluable guidance and input,” Perdue said. “I join the entire USDA family in wishing Steve and his family all the best as he heads back to ASA in November.”
Censky will resume his role at ASA following the June departure of Ryan Findlay. ASA represents US soybean farmers on domestic and international policy. The association has 26 affiliated state associations representing 30 soybean producing states and more than 300,000 soybean farmers.
Censky received a B.S. in Agriculture from South Dakota State University and his Postgraduate Diploma in Agriculture Science from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He grew up on a soybean, corn, and diversified livestock farm near Jackson, Minnesota. He and his wife Carmen have two daughters.