Oct 05 2017
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) today delivered testimony introducing Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach at his nomination hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee. President Trump nominated Ibach to serve as Under Secretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture last month.
Following today’s confirmation hearing, the Senate Agriculture Committee will vote on his nomination. Once approved by the committee, his nomination will head to the Senate floor for a final confirmation vote.
Ibach has served as the Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture for the past 12 years.
Below is the full transcript of Senator Fischer’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, on behalf of Greg Ibach this morning:
Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow, my colleagues on the committee, thank you for inviting me here today.
I’m honored to introduce my fellow Nebraskan and my good friend, Greg Ibach, the nominee to serve as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
Greg is no stranger to agriculture.
In the Beef State, we are home to the nation’s top cattle producers and best ag leaders.
Some of you may remember our great friend, Nebraskan, and former member of this committee, Senator Mike Johanns.
As a former Secretary of USDA, he knew a thing or two about agriculture.
When Senator Johanns was Governor of our state, he appointed Greg to serve as Assistant Director for the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.
Senator Johanns made an excellent choice because Greg went on to serve as Nebraska’s Director of Agriculture, a position he’s now held for the past twelve years.
Every step of the way, Greg has demonstrated his dedication to the unsung heroes of the American dinner table – our farmers and ranchers.
I am also pleased to introduce Greg’s wife, Teresa, and his daughter, Emily, who are with him here today.
Thank you both for sharing Greg with the state of Nebraska over the years.
I think everyone in this room today can agree, our successes wouldn’t be possible without the sacrifices of our loved ones, so thank you both for being here today.
Growing up on his family’s cow/calf and row crop operation outside of Sumner, Nebraska, laid a strong foundation for Greg to serve his fellow agriculture producers.
He understands the unique challenges our farmers and ranchers face because he is completely immersed in the industry.
As Nebraska’s Director of Agriculture, Greg has worked tirelessly to promote common-sense policies that allow producers to do what they do best: feed the world.
This includes opening foreign markets for Nebraska’s high quality agriculture products and hosting international trade groups at Nebraska ranches, feed yards, and food manufactures.
Under Greg’s leadership, Nebraska gained market access in regions of the world that had previously been shut-off to American producers.
For example, Greg and I worked together to reopen the Israeli market to Nebraska beef for the first time in thirteen years.
Throughout this process, Greg demonstrated his unique capacity to work with many different stakeholders at the local, state, and national level to ensure producers prospered.
At the USDA, he will serve America’s farmers and ranchers with the same knowledge, passion, and dedication.
The last few years have been tough for agriculture.
To continue being global leaders in food, fiber, and fuel production, America’s producers need regulatory certainty.
For too long, USDA has been encased in bureaucratic ambiguity.
This does not garner confidence from those in rural America who earn their living off of the land.
But fortunately, under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, the status quo is changing.
As state ag director, Greg was charged with regulatory responsibilities in the areas of Animal and Plant Health, Weights and Measures, as well as Food Safety and Consumer Protection.
He has an uncanny ability to build relationships by communicating with regulators and producers.
This is a needed skill for the next Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
I’m confident Greg’s experience leading the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, coupled with his real-world, personal understanding of farm country, make him highly-qualified to serve at USDA.
There is much at stake for agriculture in America right now.
Mr. Chairman, I urge you and the committee to quickly approve Greg’s nomination and bring it to the floor of the Senate for a vote on his confirmation.
Secretary Perdue needs his team in place to better serve our farmers and ranchers so they can do their job of feeding the world.
Greg’s role will be critically important in executing this mission.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
# # #