(Washington, D.C., September 18, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky will be departing November 8, 2020. He will be returning to become the CEO of the American Soybean Association (ASA), a position in which he previously served for 21 years. He will begin that role on November 9, 2020.
“There is no doubt that I personally, as well as the whole USDA family will miss Steve’s experience, preparedness, and steady leadership. 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,” said Secretary Perdue. “Steve’s roots are in agriculture and he is one of the best and most professional public servants America has. His wise counsel helped us make USDA the most efficient, effective, customer-focused department in the entire federal government, and I am forever grateful for his invaluable guidance and input. I join the entire USDA family in wishing Steve and his family all the best as he heads back to ASA in November.”
“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,” said Deputy Secretary Censky. “I want to thank Secretary Perdue for trusting in me and giving me the opportunity to conduct the important work that affects the daily lives of so many Americans. It has been tremendously rewarding to also work as Chief Operating Officer of one of the largest Departments in the Federal government to assist Secretary Perdue and our team at USDA in greatly improving customer service, operational effectiveness and efficiency.”
Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky was sworn-in on October 11, 2017 after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Mr. Censky previously served for 21 years as CEO of the American Soybean Association, a national, not-for-profit trade association that represents United States soybean farmers on policy and trade. Mr. Censky began his career working as a legislative assistant for Senator Jim Abdnor (R-SD). Later he served in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush Administrations at the USDA, eventually serving as Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service where he was involved in running our nation’s export programs. Mr. Censky received his B.S. in Agriculture from South Dakota State University and his Postgraduate Diploma in Agriculture Science from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He grew up on a soybean, corn, and diversified livestock farm near Jackson, Minnesota. He and his wife Carmen have two daughters.
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