The Senate has confirmed Nebraskan Darci Vetter as Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Vetter, Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the USDA, has also previously held numerous roles with the USTR office, including Director for Agricultural Affairs from 2005 to 2007 and Director for Sustainable Development from 2001 to 2005.
Following the Senate's confirmation, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack praised the decision.
"I am pleased that America's farmers, ranchers and rural communities will continue to benefit from Darci's experience and background in her new role as U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator," he said. "As Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, she helped to facilitate record food and farm exports that supported nearly one million jobs here at home and expanded opportunity in rural communities. I have no doubt that Darci will continue to be a valuable advocate for rural America."
American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser also underscored the necessity of a strong voice advocating for agricultural trade.
"As growers of the nation's largest farm export, soybean farmers have a critical stake in the progress and development of agricultural trade with our foreign partners. Ms. Vetter is a versatile and capable advocate for American agriculture and we send our most sincere congratulations on her confirmation by the Senate," he said.
Vetter's nomination comes as ag interests keep a watchful eye on Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.
"As we move forward with new trade agreements with Europe and our partners in the Pacific Rim, and as we restore and strengthen relationships with existing trading partners, Ms. Vetter will provide a strong voice for American soybean farmers at the highest level," Gaesser commented.