Stephen Censky is leaving USDA to take back the reins at the American Soybean Association. Censky has served as deputy agriculture secretary since October 2017. Prior to joining USDA, he led the ASA for 21 years.
Censky will come on board Nov. 9 and resumes his post following the June departure of Ryan Findlay, who is credited with helping the organization restructure internally and establish an independent government affairs office in Washington, D.C.
“There is no doubt that I personally, as well as the whole USDA family, will miss Steve’s experience, preparedness, and steady leadership," said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. "During his tenure as Deputy Secretary, we accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time even in the face of serious challenges in American agriculture. Steve’s roots are in agriculture and he is one of the best and most professional public servants America has.”
Censky said, “It has been a true honor to serve my country on behalf of American agriculture. These past few years have seen tremendous developments, and I am humbled to have served a role in implementing a Farm Bill, launching the USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda, supporting America’s farmers against trade retaliation, and now assisting farmers and ranchers and feeding families affected by the coronavirus pandemic."
He said he's excited to return to ASA.
“It is a privilege to return to ASA and represent our nation’s soybean growers," Censky said. "ASA is in many ways home, and I’m excited about working with both new and familiar faces in St. Louis and D.C. and building on the great changes accomplished since I was last there."
Returning to his roots is nothing new for Censky, who had served at USDA before ASA in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, including as administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service. Censky grew up on a soybean, corn, and diversified livestock farm near Jackson.