Dear Robert:

The Agricultural CEO Council greatly appreciates the numerous opportunities we have had as a group, and individually, to visit with you and the other members of the USDA transition team. Your willingness to discuss our policy priorities bodes well for the relationship we seek to develop with the incoming Biden Administration.

While the organizations we represent have always enjoyed positive and productive relationships with the USDA, the food and agriculture sector has often been challenged by the actions of other departments and agencies. In the past, our organizations have supported executive and legislative actions to formalize the relationships between USDA and its sister agencies through the development of agriculture liaison positions. Examples of these positions include the USDA Office of Pest Management Policy (7 U.S. Code § 7653); the administrative appointment of an Agricultural Advisor to the EPA Administrator; the position of a Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture (7 U.S. Code § 1736); and the position of Special Negotiator for Agriculture and Food Policy with the rank of ambassador within the Office of the United States Trade Representative (19 U.S. Code § 2171).

Each of these positions provide an opportunity for the voices of the food and agriculture sector to be amplified within the administration, as well as to leverage the efforts of the Secretary of Agriculture to advance policies that facilitate our continued production of safe, abundant, and affordable food and fiber.

In our discussions with you and your colleagues, we have advocated for continuing improvements in the relationships between USDA and other federal agencies. We ask that the transition team consider our recommendation and work to formalize agricultural liaison positions within agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Transportation, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Energy, Department of State, and the Department of Interior.

Thank you again for your dedication. We look forward to continued dialogue on these and other vital issues.


Daren Coppock, President & CEO
Agricultural Retailers Association

Zippy Duvall, President
American Farm Bureau Federation

Andy LaVigne, President & CEO
American Seed Trade Association

Todd Van Hoose, President & CEO
Farm Credit Council

Steve Censky, CEO
American Soybean Association

Corey Rosenbusch, President & CEO
The Fertilizer Institute

Luther Markwart, Executive Vice President
American Sugarbeet Association

Barb Glenn, CEO
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture

Dana O’Brien, Executive Vice President
Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Chandler Goule, CEO
National Association of Wheat Growers

Chris Novak, President & CEO
CropLife America

Colin Woodall, CEO
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Jon Doggett, CEO
National Corn Growers Association

Neil Dierks, CEO
National Pork Producers Association

Gary Adams, President & CEO
National Cotton Council

Tim Lust, CEO
National Sorghum Producers

Chuck Conner, President & CEO
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Tom Stenzel, President & CEO
United Fresh Produce Association

Rob Larew, President
National Farmers Union

Betsey Ward, President & CEO
USA Rice Federation

Jim Mulhern, President & CEO
National Milk Producers Federation

Date Sent:

December 23, 2020


Ag CEO Council


President-Elect Biden USDA Transition Team


agriculture liaison positions