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Indiana Agriculture Director Ted McKinney tapped for key USDA role with Trump administration

Ted McKinney/Photo from Indiana Department of Agriculture

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump has tapped a key Indiana official to oversee trade and foreign agriculture affairs with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The president nominated Ted McKinney, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, for Under Secretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs with the USDA. The position is a new one created by Congress in 2014.

McKinney grew up on a family farm in Tipton, Ind. He worked for 19 years with Dow AgroSciences and spent 14 years with Elanco. A graduate of Purdue University, he received his B.S. in agricultural economics in 1981.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb applauded the move, saying in a statement:

“Ted will be a strong voice in this new role with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He took agriculture to the next level in Indiana with his wealth of experience and enthusiasm in all sectors of the agriculture community, and I know he will do the same for our nation in this position as undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs.”

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue also approved of McKinney’s nomination:

“For our new under secretary position emphasizing international trade, I have always said that I want someone who wakes up every morning asking how we can sell more American agricultural products in foreign markets. Ted McKinney is that person. His longstanding background in agriculture, economic development, and global issues will make him an unapologetic advocate for U.S. products in the world marketplace.”

McKinney was appointed head of the Indiana Department of Agriculture in 2014 by then-Gov. Mike Pence, who now serves as vice president.

McKinney and Iowa’s Sam Clovis, also nominated for a role with the USDA, served on Trump’s agricultural advisory committee during the campaign.

The nominations of McKinney and Clovis were among several announced by the Trump administration this week.