As President-elect Donald Trump thins his list of major nominations to make before he takes office later this month, the agriculture industry is getting restless while waiting for his pick to lead the Department of Agriculture. There’s been a flurry of meetings and rumors since his election in November, but the industry continues to wait. A nomination was expected this week and was thought to be former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, but that gave way to former California Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado (Mal-do-nah-do). The Trump transition team Wednesday said Trump continues to meet with highly qualified candidates. Former USDA Secretary John Block perhaps said it best, saying: “It’s very risky to think you know anything, because you don’t,” according to Politico. Meanwhile, Jerry Hagstrom of the Hagstrom Report wrote in the National Journal this week that “damage has already been done,” citing a lobbyist who said “ag is going to start saying that Trump doesn’t care about us.” It is believed this is the longest wait for a USDA Secretary nomination by an incoming president since Henry Wallace, who was nominated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in March of 1993, according to a U.S. Senate historical book. While the nomination cannot come until after Trump is sworn in, most President-elect’s have announced who the nominee will be well before Inauguration Day.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.