House Agriculture Committee completes two-day review of USDA organization and program administration

Sep 16, 2015

The House Agriculture Committee completed its two-day hearing series to review the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) organization and program administration. Over the past two days, members of the committee heard from 25 undersecretaries, administrators, and other department officials on topics relating to USDA’s seven mission areas, including an accounting for each area’s purpose and goals, programs administered, and annual budget. 

Today’s panel of witnesses included undersecretaries and administrators for USDA’s Rural Development (RD), Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP), Food Safety, and Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services (FNCS) mission areas.  They followed yesterday’s panels that included undersecretaries and administrators for USDA’s Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS), Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), and Research, Education and Economics (REE) mission areas.

“When I became chairman of the Agriculture Committee, I made a commitment to bring USDA officials before the committee and have them explain their budget and missions. The department carries out most of the laws enacted by this committee, so it makes sense for department officials to hear directly from members about our responsibilities and the issues and policies we care about.  It is equally important for committee members to see how these policies are implemented and what challenges, if any, USDA faces in implementing them.  I want to thank Secretary Vilsack for making members of his team available to the committee and want to thank the witnesses for their testimony. I hope to continue this open dialogue moving forward,” Chairman Conaway said.

Written testimony provided by the witness from today’s hearing is linked below. Click here for more information and the archived webcast.

Witness List:

Panel I

The Honorable Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary, Rural Development, USDA, Washington, D.C.
 
Mr. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service, USDA, Washington, D.C.
 
Mr. Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Rural Houseing Service, USDA, Washington, D.C.
 
Mr. Sam Rikkers, Acting Administrator, Rural Business Cooperative Service, USDA, Washington, D.C.
 

Panel II

The Honorable Edward Avalos, Under Secretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs, USDA, Washington, D.C.
 
Mr. Alfred V. Almanza, Deputy Under Secretary, Food Safety, USDA, Washington, D.C.
 
Ms. Anne L. Alonzo, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, Washington, D.C.
 
Mr. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, Washington, D.C.
 
Mr. Larry Mitchell, Administrator, Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration, USDA, Washington, D.C. 
 
 
Panel III

The Honorable Kevin W. Concannon, Under Secretary, Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Service, USDA, Washington, D.C. 
 
Ms. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, Washington, D.C.
 
Ms. Angie Tagtow, Executive Director, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, USDA, Washington, D.C.