Mark Keenum has been confirmed by the Senate as Under Secretary for Farm & Agricultural Services. U.S. Ag Secretary Mike Johanns released a statement today concerning this confirmation……
STATEMENT OF AGRICULTURE SECRETARY MIKE JOHANNS REGARDING SENATE CONFIRMATION OF MARK KEENUM AS UNDER SECRETARY FOR FARM AND FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICES
December 9, 2006
“I’d like to thank the Senate for moving quickly to confirm Mark Keenum as under secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. Mark’s broad experience in agriculture, both in the field and in Washington D.C., will be of great benefit to USDA and the people we serve.
“Mark has built a reputation as an honest, hard-working and insightful person. Those qualities will serve him well in his new role overseeing both our domestic farm support programs and our global efforts relating to agricultural trade. Mark’s roots at USDA run as deeply as his roots in agriculture. He followed in his grandfather and father’s footsteps as a USDA employee in Mississippi before he moved to our nation’s capitol. I am pleased to welcome Mark back to our team.”
Keenum received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Mississippi State University in 1988 and joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor/Economist. In 1989, Keenum joined the staff of Senator Thad Cochran as a legislative assistant for Agriculture and Natural Resources. In this role, he worked on numerous issues important to Mississippi agriculture, including several farm bills. Keenum was named Cochran’s chief-of-staff in 1996. He has served as an advisor to the Senator on political, legislative, and appropriations issues. He has also managed the administrative and legislative functions of Cochran’s office.
Keenum worked for USDA’s Cooperative Extension Service in the mid-1980’s, carrying-on a family tradition of USDA employment. His grandfather worked for the Soil Conservation Service and his father worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Keenum and his wife, Rhonda, have four children and reside in Alexandria, Virginia.