Robert Bonnie Confirmed as USDA’s Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation

The United States Senate recently confirmed Robert Bonnie as USDA’s Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation Programs.

President Joe Biden nominated Bonnie for the position in April.

“AFBF congratulates Robert Bonnie on his nomination as Under Secretary for Food Production and Conservation,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said then. “Robert’s experience as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment and as Senior Advisor to Secretary (Tom) Vilsack at USDA has given him firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing America’s farmers and ranchers. We appreciate his outreach and engagement with Farm Bureau during his tenure with the Biden administration and we are hopeful he will remain fully engaged with farmers and ranchers in his new role.

“We look forward to the nomination process and we hope to build on our relationship with Robert to ensure farm, crop and conservation programs allow farmers and ranchers to continue putting food on tables across the country.”

Bonnie has been serving as deputy chief of staff for policy and senior advisor on climate to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. He previously served in the Obama administration as Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, overseeing the U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. From April 2009 to July 2013, Bonnie was a senior advisor to Secretary Vilsack for environment and climate change.

Bonnie was the co-chair of the Biden administration’s transition team for USDA and has previously spent time as the vice president for land conservation at the Environmental Defense Fund.

More recently, Bonnie served on the steering committee for the Nicholas Institute-facilitated Climate 21 Project at Duke University. The project provided advice to the incoming Biden-Harris administration on a whole-of-government response to climate change.

The farm production and conservation mission area includes the Farm Service Agency, the Risk Management Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.


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