The Department of Agriculture remains headless under President-elect Donald Trump, but not for long. Trump is expected to announce his choice for USDA Secretary this week. Still, there’s no clear front-runner for the post. While the media circuit to start the week named former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as the leading candidate, by Tuesday, reports suggested a former lieutenant governor of California was the top choice for Trump. Perdue is a Democrat-turned-Republican who served on Trump’s agricultural advisory committee during his presidential campaign. Perdue would appease Trump’s agriculture advisory committee, but he may not be the final name in the hat. A White House correspondent for CNN said Tuesday former California Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado (Mal-do-nah-do) was emerging as the frontrunner to lead USDA. Maldonado is a Mexican-American who grew up in a farming family, and he currently operates a California Vineyard. USDA Secretary is one of the last few cabinet positions for Trump to fill. However, Trump’s USDA transition team did have two leaders removed from the post in the early going. Currently, Brian Klippenstein (clip-in-stine) of Protect the Harvest and Carrie Castille (Kas-steel), former associate commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture, are leading the efforts.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.