According to reporting by the Washington Post, 18 of Donald Trump’s 21-member cabinet – have been selected. His choice for the next Secretary of Agriculture remains a mystery, however.
“It certainly has folks concerned or worried that maybe it just doesn’t seem to be getting the attention that we would like it to,” says Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, the second-biggest U.S. farmer group. “Folks in agriculture and rural America feel like they delivered for this president, and they just want there to be more attention.”
Whoever takes the position will need “to be the voice for those who come from rural America,” Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., recently told AgriTalk host Mike Adams.
“It seems as if there’s very few people within the Trump transition team that are at the Department of Agriculture interacting with people that work there today,” he says.
Still, between Trump Tower sightings and Twitter rumors, at least eight candidates appear to be in consideration, including:
- Kansas Governor Sam Brownback
- CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives Chuck Connor
- Former Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman
- Outgoing Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp
- Texas agricultural commissioner Sid Miller
- Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue
- Former Texas agricultural commissioner Susan Combs
- Indiana farmer Kip Tom
Tom had not been a part of the discussion until very recently. He and Trump met Thursday, Jan. 5, in New York City, but Tom did not disclose details regarding that visit.
Whatever Trump’s final choice may be, the clock is ticking. He must make all Cabinet appointments by his Jan. 20, 2017 inauguration. The Secretary of Agriculture oversees farm policy, food safety, nutrition assistance programs and international agriculture trade.
Read outgoing Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s exit memo here: http://bit.ly/2iPLxYQ.