Senate Ag Advances Two Trump Nominees

August 16, 2018

The Senate Agriculture Committee approved two nominees for senior positions at USDA and the Commodity Futures Trading Committee.  The nominees will now go before the full Senate for confirmation.

James E. Hubbard is nominated as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment.  With under Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s reorganization of the department, this mission area oversees a single agency, the Forest Service.  This is one of the largest USDA agencies in terms of employees, with critical conservation and fire-fighting responsibilities that have been prominent in the news recently.

Dan Berkovitz is nominated for a Democratic seat on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).  (Like other independent agencies, the CFTC has seats reserved for both the incumbent President’s party and for the opposition party.)  As the regulator of futures and other derivatives, the CFTC is critical to farmers’ ability to hedge commodity prices, such as feed costs.