Merrigan to Step Down

Earlier this week, Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, announced her resignation, leaving no statement suggesting her future or the date of her departure from the US Department of Agriculture. Merrigan had served since 2009.
Since 2009, Merrigan has become a staple at the USDA. In particular, she has become known for her efforts to increase local consumption of agricultural products. The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food campaign, which sought to reconnect local consumers with local farmers, was largely spearheaded by Merrigan. She was also highly active in efforts to develop national organic food labelling rules.
Large-scale farms had argued that Merrigan’s appointment and the USDA’s focus on small farms signified hostility to major agribusinesses.
There is no word yet on a successor to Merrigan. Her replacement, however, will need to be approved by the Senate. Given Congress’ intense partisan divides, there is a chance that politics could derail the nomination of whoever is selected by the Obama administration to replace Merrigan.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer