Press Releases

House Agriculture Committee completes its second two-day review of USDA organization and program administration

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Washington, March 18, 2016 | comments

Today, the House Agriculture Committee completed its two-day examination of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) organization and program administration. Over the past two days, members of the committee heard from 25 undersecretaries, administrators, and other department officials across USDA’s seven mission areas, on a variety of topics, which included an accounting for each area’s purpose and goals, programs administered, and annual budget. 

Today’s panel of witnesses included USDA officials for the Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS), Research, Education and Economics (REE), and Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) mission areas.  They followed yesterday’s panels that included USDA officials for the Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services (FNCS), Food Safety (FS), and Rural Development (RD) mission areas.

“It is our responsibility as committee members to work in tandem with USDA, advocating on behalf of American consumers and producers.  It is also our responsibility to provide rigorous oversight of USDA activities.  On both accounts, I have enjoyed working with Secretary Vilsack and his team, and I thank them for their participation this week. Hearing from every mission area at USDA over a two-day period provides a unique opportunity to see how all of the various parts of USDA work together.  I hope to continue these conversations as we move forward,” said Chairman Conaway.

Written testimony provided by the witnesses from today’s hearing is linked below. Click here for more information, including Chairman Conaway's opening statement, and the archived webcast.

Witness List:
Panel I 
The Honorable Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary, Natural Resources and Environment, USDA, Washington, D.C. 

Accompanied by: 
Ms. Mary Wagner, Associate Chief, Forest Service, USDA, Washington, D.C. 

Mr. Jason Weller, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA, Washington, D.C.

Panel II 
Ms. Alexis Taylor, Deputy Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, USDA, Washington, D.C. 

Accompanied by: 
Mr. Val Dolcini, Administrator, Farm Service Agency, USDA, Washington, D.C. 

Ms. Suzanne Palmieri, Associate Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA, Washington, D.C. 

Mr. Brandon Willis, Administrator, Risk Management Agency, USDA, Washington, D.C.

Panel III
The Honorable Catherine Woteki, Under Secretary, Research, Education and Economics, USDA, Washington, D.C. 

Accompanied by: 
Ms. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Washington, D.C. 

Mr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Washington, D.C. 

Mr. Joseph T. Reilly, Administrator, National Agricultural Statistics Service USDA, D.C. 

Ms. Mary Bohman, Administrator, Economic Research Service, USDA, Washington, D.C.

Panel IV

The Honorable Ed Avalos, Under Secretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs, USDA, Washington, D.C 

Accompanied by: 
Ms. Elanor Starmer, Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Washington, D.C. 

Mr. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Washington, D.C. 

Mr. Larry Mitchell, Administrator, Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration, USDA, Washington, D.C.