The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to schedule confirmation votes on four long-languishing Trump administration nominees for positions important to U.S. pork producers and American agriculture.
In a letter to the two leaders, NPPC asked the Senate to fulfill its “vital role in ensuring that our federal agencies are adequately staffed by moving quickly to schedule votes and confirm” Gregg Doud as chief agricultural negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Bill Northey as undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Stephen Vaden as USDA’s general counsel and Andrew Wheeler as deputy administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“All four candidates are highly qualified, and the positions they will fill are extremely important to the U.S. pork industry and American agriculture,” wrote NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “The nominees will oversee policies and programs that farmers and ranchers depend on.”
Doud currently is president of the Commodity Markets Council, and the previous was a senior aide to the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. Doud, who grew up on a family farm in Kansas, also worked for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and for U.S. Wheat Associates.
Northey is secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. He previously served as president of the National Corn Growers Association and on Iowa’s USDA Farm Service Agency state committee.
Vaden, who has been at USDA since President Trump’s inauguration, grew up on a family farm in west Tennessee before coming to Washington to work at two of D.C.’s biggest law firms.
Wheeler is the co-leader of the energy practice at the law firm Faegre Baker Daniels and formerly served on the staff of Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., including as the long-time staff director of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He also worked at EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics during both the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.