ASA CEO Censky Welcomes Appointment of Veneman as Agriculture Secretary

first_imgFollowing President-elect George W. Bush’s announcement today, Stephen L. Censky, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Soybean Association (ASA), a trade group representing thousands of farmers, said, “I think Ann Veneman is a great choice for Secretary of Agriculture. Clearly, Ann knows agriculture very well. She has spent her whole career in agriculture working for farmers and ranchers both at the Department of Agriculture, as well as Commissioner of Agriculture in California.”Censky, who worked with Veneman at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) before he joined ASA, said he worked with her when she was Deputy Undersecretary of what is now Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, and when she was Deputy Secretary of the entire Agriculture Department.”Ann brings vision and strength in many areas, including international trade,” Censky said. “She really knows the importance of trade, and I think she will exercise real leadership in helping U.S. agriculture open up more markets, including the development of science-based rules governing international trade.”Ann knows that a key to agricultural and farmer prosperity is expanding demand overseas, knocking down trade barriers, and preventing trade barriers from disrupting our exports. So Ann is going to be extremely effective, and I think the soybean industry is going to be extremely well served.”With 96 percent of the world’s population living outside the United States, international trade is particularly important to soybean producers because nearly half the value of the U.S. soybean crop is exported as whole soybeans, or as soybean meal and soybean oil. The value of 1999 U.S. soybean exports was nearly $7.4 billion.”Another area where I think the American Soybean Association will be well served with Ann Veneman as Secretary of Agriculture is in the area of the environment,” Censky said. “Ann clearly is a strong proponent of the environment and environmental conservation, and recognizes the strong environmental ethic farmers hold. Ann brings a strong practical and realistic approach to environmental stewardship that will help farmers better protect the environment while still allowing farmers to farm profitably.”Ann brings a wealth of experience in dealing with science and nutrition issues, and marketing opportunities,” Censky said. She’s a great choice for Secretary of Agriculture because she will serve all of agriculture, including the soybean industry, extremely well.”last_img

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