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Biden Names Nominee           01/19 08:17

   Jewel Bronaugh Has History in Extension Services, FSA in Virginia

   Jewel Bronaugh holds a doctorate in career and technical education from 
Virginia Tech University. She would bring to USDA an extensive career working 
with Extension programs and has served as a 4-H Extension specialist. If 
confirmed, Bronaugh would serve as Vilsack's second in command at USDA. 
Bronaugh would also be the first Black woman to serve as USDA deputy secretary.

Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

   OMAHA (DTN) -- President-elect Joe Biden on Monday nominated Virginia 
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Jewel Bronaugh as 
deputy secretary of USDA.

   Bronaugh, who holds a doctorate in career and technical education from 
Virginia Tech University, brings to USDA an extensive career working with 
Extension programs and has served as a 4-H Extension specialist. If confirmed, 
Bronaugh would serve as Vilsack's second in command at USDA in the Biden 
administration. Bronaugh would also be the first Black woman to serve as USDA 
deputy secretary.

   "She is passionate about the advancement of youth leadership in 
agriculture," the Biden transition team stated.

   Bronaugh has served as commissioner for the Virginia Department of 
Agriculture and Consumer Services since May 2018 but had previously served as 
Virginia's state executive director for the USDA Farm Service Agency, appointed 
by then USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in 2015. Before leading Virginia's FSA 
offices, Bronaugh was dean of the College of Agriculture at Virginia State 
University (VSU) and oversaw extension, research and academic programs.

   On Twitter, Bronaugh stated, "Thank you everyone for the well wishes. And, 
thank you @PresElectBiden for the opportunity to promote U.S. agriculture, 
helping to end hunger in the U.S. and abroad and preserving our Nation's 
natural resources. @transition46 @KamalaHarris"

   Biden's transition team highlighted that Bronaugh launched the Virginia 
Farmer Stress Task Force with agricultural and health groups and agencies "to 
raise awareness and coordinate resources to address farmer stress and mental 
health challenges in Virginia." Last fall, Bronaugh also helped create the 
Virginia Food Access Investment Fund, a program to address food-access issues 
within historically marginalized communities, the transition team noted.

   Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, 
congratulated Bronaugh on her nomination.

   "Dr. Bronaugh's work as Virginia's Agriculture commissioner and her previous 
experience as state director of USDA's Farm Service Agency have established her 
as someone who understands the needs of America's farmers and ranchers," Duvall 
said. "We also appreciate the work she has done to address mental health issues 
in rural communities -- a priority we hope she continues to pursue at the 
federal level."

   Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., the ranking Democrat on the Senate 
Agriculture Committee, said, "Dr. Bronaugh's background in farm services, 
research, and extension will bring a breadth of knowledge and experience to the 
Department," Stabenow said. "As the first woman of color to serve in this 
position, she will be an important voice as the Biden Administration works to 
address the many challenges facing our farmers, families, and rural 
communities. I look forward to learning more about her plans and priorities 
during the confirmation process."

   While some Biden nominees will have confirmation hearings Tuesday, the 
Senate Agriculture Committee has not scheduled a hearing for Vilsack so far. 
Both Vilsack and Bronaugh will need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

   Bronaugh was one of five women nominated by Biden on Monday to serve as 
deputies in Cabinet posts. Other deputy nominees were named for the departments 
of Transportation, Health and Human Services, Interior and Education.

   Progressives had criticized Vilsack's nomination to return as USDA secretary 
and called for Biden to nominate a woman of color as his deputy. Former USDA 
Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan noted on Twitter of Bronaugh's nomination, 
"Of the 15 major cabinet departments at start of Obama, I was one of only two 
female deputy secretaries, by law the COOs of the departments. Today Pres-elect 
Biden nominates five women for deputy, including @VaAgComm Dr. Jewel Bronaugh 
for USDA. Oh happy #MLKDay!"

   Bronaugh will replace Steve Censky as deputy secretary. Censky left USDA in 
November to return to his former job as CEO of the American Soybean Association.

   Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com

   Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN




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