Farm Progress

The director of ISDA is tapped to become the first undersecretary for trade and agricultural foreign affairs.

Tom J Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

July 22, 2017

2 Min Read
HOOSIER TAPPED FOR USDA: Ted McKinney, director of ISDA, is nominated to be the first USDA undersecretary for trade and agricultural foreign affairs.ISDA Communications

President Donald Trump announced on July 19 that Ted McKinney would be nominated for a key position within USDA. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he would become the first USDA undersecretary for trade and agricultural foreign affairs.

The rumor that McKinney, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, would be going to Washington began several weeks ago. The vetting process nominees undergo resulted in the six-week or more delay in the announcement. He won’t officially enter the post until confirmed by the U.S. Senate, notes Ben Gavelek, communications specialist within ISDA. Until then, McKinney continues as director of ISDA. He was named to that post in 2014 by then Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

McKinney grew up in Tipton County on a livestock and grain farm. His brother, Tom, and his parents still operate the farm today.

The undersecretary position was actually created by the most recent farm bill. When USDA Director Sonny Perdue was confirmed earlier this year, he soon announced intentions to fill the position.

Notes Perdue, “For our new undersecretary 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 long-standing background in agriculture, economic development and global issues will make him an unapologetic advocate for U.S. products in the world marketplace.”

 “Ted will be a strong voice in his new role with USDA,” adds Gov. Eric Holcomb. “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 agricultural foreign affairs.”

Says McKinney, “I am honored to be nominated by the president, and I so appreciate the support and encouragement from Secretary Perdue, and the many friends who have reached out with support. I look forward to serving if confirmed.”

No word is available about how McKinney’s position as director of ISDA will be filled. An announcement on filling that key post isn’t likely until McKinney is actually confirmed by the U.S. Senate, sources says.

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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