President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Dr. Jewel Bronaugh to serve as the next Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Bronaugh currently serves as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The announcement has been met with significant support from a variety of agricultural industry groups.
“AFBF congratulates Dr. Jewel Bronaugh on her nomination to serve as USDA Deputy Secretary,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a press release. “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.”
Bronaugh has a working history with the nominee for Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. During his first term as USDA Secretary, Vilsack appointed Bronaugh to lead the USDA Farm Service Agency in Virginia in 2015. Prior to that Bronaugh also served as Dean of the College of Agriculture at Virginia State University. Her extensive agricultural background is being heralded by many farm groups.
“Under Dr. Jewel Bronaugh’s leadership, the USDA will be in good hands,” said National Farmers Union President Rob Larew. “She has amassed a wealth of experience and expertise over her long and impressive career, positioning her for success in her new role as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. We are especially encouraged by her strong background in farm programs, extension, education, and research.”
In her various roles within agriculture, Bronaugh has led efforts aimed at addressing farmer stress and mental health challenges. Bronaugh also holds experience with the administration of various extension programs. There is optimism that Bronaugh’s background and working relationship with Vilsack will provide positive direction for USDA moving forward.
“American Farmland Trust congratulates Dr. Jewel Bronaugh on her nomination to serve as USDA Deputy Secretary,” said American Farmland Trust Policy Director, Tim Fink. “AFT commends the Biden Administration for the nomination of the first woman of color to the role of USDA Deputy Secretary. We look forward to her speedy confirmation.”