JAKARTA, GESAHKITA COM—Finally The U.S. Senate Thursday voted to confirm Jewel Bronaugh to be deputy secretary of agriculture, the second-highest position at USDA. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack congratulated Bronaugh in a statement Thursday.
“Dr. Bronaugh has a long, distinguished career as an educator and champion for farmers and rural communities,” said Vilsack.
He added that Bronaugh “speaks respectfully of producers and rural Americans, and believes that as a public servant, her job is to find a way to help those who need it.”
Bronaugh has been serving as commissioner for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services since 2018.
As commissioner, Bronaugh expanded agricultural scholarships for minority students, created a grant to invest in new and expanding grocery stores and created a task force on farmer stress and mental health.
Prior to her role as commissioner, starting in 2015, she was USDA’s Farm Service Agency state director during the Obama administration.
She has also was dean of the College of Agriculture at Virginia State University, where she oversaw educational programming, research and extension services starting in 2001.
Bronaugh, a native of Petersburg, Va., received her Ph.D. in career and technical education from Virginia Tech.
Now, Bronaugh is the first Black woman and first woman of color to hold the position of deputy secretary of agriculture since the department was founded in 1862.
In her new role as second-in-command at USDA, Bronaugh is expected to push for carbon banks, expanded grant opportunities for farmers and improved outreach to underserved farmers, including minority farmers.
When President Joe Biden announced his nomination of Bronaugh in January, several farm groups at the state and national level expressed support.
“She has done much to promote agriculture and address the many issues facing farm families and rural Virginia,” Virginia Farm Bureau President Wayne Pryor said at the time.
Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said in a statement that Bronaugh “understands the needs of America’s farmers and ranchers.”(capital press)