Senate Agriculture Committee Holds Hearing to Consider CSF-Supported USDA Nominee Robert Bonnie

Highlights

  • On Thursday, July 29, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a confirmation hearing for Robert Bonnie, who was nominated earlier this year, to serve as the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation.
  • If confirmed, Mr. Bonnie will oversee USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Risk Management Agency (RMA), agencies charged with the implementation of critical, voluntary private lands conservation programs.
  • The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and many partners have long voiced support for Mr. Bonnie’s nomination, citing his track record with USDA and his commitment to working on a bipartisan basis to achieve conservation goals for sportsmen and women.

Why it matters: As Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Mr. Bonnie will lead the efforts of USDA agencies charged with the implementation of critical conservation programs. These include the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) administered by FSA and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) administered by NRCS. Mr. Bonnie’s dedication to effective, bipartisan conservation solutions makes him an ideal nominee for this position.

On Thursday, July 29, members of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee (Committee) held a confirmation hearing for Robert Bonnie, President Biden’s nominee for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation.

In support of Mr. Bonnie’s nomination, CSF joined 31 other sporting conservation organizations in submitting a letter to members of the Committee. The letter highlights Mr. Bonnie’s experience as USDA’s Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment in the Obama Administration. The letter also praises Mr. Bonnie’s history of working on pragmatic, bipartisan efforts to achieve conservation objectives.

Mr. Bonnie is currently serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and Senior Advisor for Climate in the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. If confirmed as Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Mr. Bonnie would lead the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Risk Management Agency (RMA), the primary agencies charged with the implementation of critical conservation programs like the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), and others. Given the importance of these conservation programs to sportsmen and women, CSF is looking forward to working with Mr. Bonnie in this role, and we continue to encourage his swift confirmation. 

Mr. Bonnie’s nomination now requires a simple majority vote from the Senate Agriculture Committee before being considered by the full Senate for confirmation.

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