Senate confirms Torres Small as USDA’s second-in-command

The U.S. Senate confirmed Xochitl Torres Small to be the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) Deputy Secretary of Agriculture late Tuesday morning, July 11. As of the appointment, she was serving as the U.S. Under Secretary for Rural Development, a position she has held since October 2021.

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The U.S. Senate confirmed Xochitl Torres Small to be the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) Deputy Secretary of Agriculture late Tuesday morning. Her boss, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, said Torres Small has dedicated her career to serving the agriculture industry and the American people.

“I have witnessed her lead with energy, authenticity, and personal investment that I know will leave an impact on USDA for years to come,” Secretary Vilsack said. “As the granddaughter of migrant farm workers, Xochitl experienced firsthand the challenges that many producers and rural communities face day in and day out. The hard work and determination she witnessed informs her commitment to public service and her respect for those we serve. Under her leadership, our Rural Development team has made record progress working to drive down energy costs, improve access to high-speed internet, expand processing capacity to help America’s livestock producers attain fairer prices for their work, and provide affordable housing options for rural residents.”

The top Senate agricultural leaders from both sides of the aisle praised Torres Small’s confirmation as well.

“Ms. Torres Small’s strong, bipartisan confirmation shows what the Senate can do when it works together, " said Sen. & Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). “Ms. Torres Small has a proven track record as a strong leader with a deep knowledge of farm, food, and rural policy. I know she will serve the Department and the American people well in her new role as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.”

“I am pleased the Senate confirmed Ms. Torres Small to serve as USDA’s deputy secretary,” said Sen. and Sen. Ag Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR). “She has excelled in her leadership role as Undersecretary for Rural Development and is more than prepared to take on the responsibilities that come with being the top deputy at USDA. I congratulate Ms. Torres Small and stand ready to work with her to implement policies that will help our farmers, ranchers, and rural communities succeed.”

Torres Small has served as the U.S. Undersecretary for Rural Development since October 2021. She is expected to be sworn into her new position sometime next week. Effective July 14, Rural Development Chief Operating Officer Roger Glendenning will serve as Acting Under Secretary.

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