Trump intends to nominate Censky for Agriculture deputy secretary
July 14, 2017
The White House announced President Donald Trump intends to nominates American Soybean Association CEO as Agriculture deputy secretary.
Censky's nomination has been rumored for months.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who has said publicly he is tired of working "22 hours" per day, said, "Our work has only just begun in delivering results for the people of American agriculture, and the experience and leadership skills of Stephen Censky will only enhance our efforts."
"He will bring enthusiasm and a dedication to this country which will be great assets to USDA's customers," Perdue said. "I am extremely pleased with the nomination for this key position and am hopeful that the Senate will take it up in short order."
ASA leaders praised Trump's selection.
"One of the best things I did as ASA president was to hire Steve as our CEO," said John Long, a farmer from Newberry, S.C., and ASA's president when Censky was selected to that post in 1996.
"When Steve came to ASA, our industry was beginning a period of rapid growth," Long said. "Since then, our acreage has grown by more than 20 million acres, we have established soybeans as the leader in American agricultural exports, and foreign markets abroad have been greatly expanded through trade agreements and marketing, especially in China."
"The use of soy in biodiesel and biobased products has grown from virtually zero to become significant markets, and soybeans have become a program crop under the farm bill. We've seen the widespread adoption and acceptance of agricultural biotechnology, and built soy demand in markets around the globe. These are the good works and the legacy that Steve leaves at ASA. They are his successes and ours."
Chandler Goule, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers, also praised the nomination.
"I've worked with Steve for years and over the last year as a fellow commodity organization CEO. I have seen firsthand his dedication to American agriculture," Goule said.
"He is an aggressive advocate for farmers and truly understands how important international trade is to the ag economy, and how critical a strong crop insurance program is for farmers to farm another year when they experience a weather or economic storm."
"NAWG urges the Senate to quickly take up his nomination and confirm his appointment before the August recess," Goule said.
The White House described Censky as a Missourian since he has lived for many years in the suburbs of St. Louis where ASA has its headquarters, but Censky grew up on a soybean, corn, and diversified livestock farm near Jackson, Minn
He began his career working as a legislative assistant for Sen. Jim Abdnor, R-S.D. Later he served in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations at the Agriculture Department, rising to the position of administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service.
Censky received his bachelor of science degree in agriculture from South Dakota State University and a postgraduate diploma in agriculture science from the University of Melbourne, Australia.