Since election night Farm Country has been buzzing over speculation of who President-Elect Trump will appoint to lead the EPA and USDA. Washington D.C. and Farm Country alike have been speculating Gary Baise, a lawyer and farmer, would be appointed to the EPA command post, but he shared this morning on AgriTalk that he hasn’t been contacted by the Trump headquarters to do so.
[Listen to the interview above.]
“I think that is sort of wishful thinking on behalf of my clients that I told a week or so ago I might consider it if I got a call,” he told AgriTalk host Mike Adams on Monday. “It is a typical case of Washington running with any name that might have the ability to handle that job. I’m perfectly happy doing what I’m doing. I do not expect to go.”
Baise says that if Trump called and asked him to take the job he would consider it but at this point is “leaning against it.”
Other names on the shortlist for EPA Administrator include four Aattorneys general who have sued the EPA over acts they determined to be unlawful action, including the Waters of the U.S. Rule and other regulations enacted under the Obama administration. Those attorneys general include Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas, Bill Schuette of Michigan, Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia, and Alan Wilson of South Carolina.
For several months leading up to the election the Trump campaign and Trump agriculture advisory council said Trump will appoint a farmer to lead EPA. Baise says Trump will choose a farmer or someone with real experience in agriculture to lead the agency.
“Based on my understanding from the New York office there’s a real commitment from both Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence to look for someone who is not an environmental activist,” he says. “They are going to look for someone with real world experience and that may include agriculture.”
Secretary of Agriculture
Another important cabinet position that has Farm Country on the edge of its seat is Secretary of Agriculture. Many rumors have been circling D.C. over who will take over this important post from Secretary Vilsack. Governors and farmers alike have made the shortlist including Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas, Dave Heineman of Nebraksa, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Iowa farmer Bruce Rastetter, Nebraska farmer Charles W. Herbster and former Texas governor Rick Perry.
According to Baise, Perry met with Trump on Monday. “Who knows what they will be talking to him about,” he says.
In Baise’s opinion Charles W. Herbster, an Angus rancher and personal friend of Donald Trump, would be the best case scenario for agriculture.
“I think agriculture would benefit to have someone who has the president’s ear personally,” he says. Herbster and his family vacation with the Trumps, according to Baise.