While some lawmakers have voiced concerns, agriculture groups Monday vocalized support for the nomination of Sam Clovis to a Department of Agriculture position. President Trump announced he would nominate Clovis to serve as the USDA undersecretary for research, education, and economics, which also serves as the departments chief scientist. Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, Senate Appropriations Committee ranking member Patrick Leahy, and Senator Chris Coons, all Democrats, have questioned the nomination because Clovis does not have a scientific background. However, more than 20 agriculture groups signed a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Pat Roberts Monday expressing support for the nomination. The groups, including the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and the American Farm Bureau Federation, said USDA already has lots of scientists, according to the Hagstrom Report. The letter stated: “They do not need a peer. They need someone to champion their work before the administration, the Congress, and all consumers around the world.”
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.