Starling Named Special Assistant for Agriculture

Taylor Hillman Industry News Release



The Trump administration has named Ray Starling as Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Assistance. Starling has a long history in agriculture and many groups support the appointment.

National Cotton Council: The National Cotton Council (NCC) appreciates President Donald Trump’s appointment of Ray Starling to the position of Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Assistance.

Starling, who was raised on a farm in southeastern North Carolina, previously worked in Washington, D.C. as chief of staff to Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC). Before that, Starling had served as Tillis’ general counsel during Tillis’ tenure as Speaker for the North Carolina House of Representatives. Starling also has served as general counsel for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

NCC Chairman Ronnie Lee, a Bronwood, Ga. cotton producer, said, “This is the first time in my memory that a President has filled this position so early in an administration. I believe this is a clear sign of President Trump’s commitment to agriculture and rural America. We look forward to working with President Trump as we try to develop an effective and comprehensive safety net for cotton producers and as Congress develops a new farm bill.”

Lee noted that Starling’s background of growing up on a farm will be instrumental in advising the President on agriculture issues.

“Having someone of Ray’s background and abilities in this position not only will be an asset to President Trump but an asset to agriculture across our great country,” Lee stated.

National Pork Producers Council
: Filling a position left vacant for most of the Obama administration, the National Pork Producers Council applauds today’s White House appointment of Ray Starling to the position of Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Aid. Starling currently serves as chief of staff for Senator Thom Tillis, R-N.C. The following statement can be attributed to John Weber, president of the National Pork Producers Council.

“By picking a true champion of American agriculture to serve in this key advisory role, President Trump is sending a clear signal of his commitment to reverse unnecessary regulations inhibiting pork producers and all U.S. farmers from doing what they do best: supplying the world with the most nutritious, affordable and abundant food available.

“Growing up raising hogs on a farm in North Carolina that his family continues to operate today, Ray’s long, distinguished career in agriculture policy has always been informed by a deep understanding of pork producers and a sector so vital to our economy and national security. We look forward to working with Ray and the Trump administration to address the needs of rural America.”

National Cattleman’s Beef Association: Colin Woodall, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA’s) senior vice president of government affairs, today released the following statement in response to Ray Starling’s appointment to President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisors:

“This is great news not just for America’s cattle producers, but for America’s entire economy. In short, Ray Starling gets it. He has a sharp understanding of how the economy works, and especially how the agricultural sector operates and benefits the citizens of every state in the nation, while also providing the world’s safest and most prosperous food supply. This is an A+ appointment, and we look forward to working with Ray and the rest of the president’s team on behalf of the American beef industry.”