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Reaction to Clovis Nomination at USDA Getting Mixed Reaction
USAgNet - 07/28/2017

Despite backlash from some sectors of the public, a host of agriculture associations and officials have made clear their support for President Donald Trump's nomination of Sam Clovis as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics with the USDA.

Protests from the scientific community have centered around the fact that Clovis has a PhD in public administration, not science. They say that in this millennium, the nod for the under secretary position has gone to those with advanced degrees in hard sciences. Clovis has also questioned climate change, a hot-button issue that has dogged Trump nominees for a variety of posts.

But 22 agricultural associations this week sent a group letter to Congress saying that the USDA already has plenty of scientists in its ranks and that the under secretary does not need another one to lead the charge.

The letter specifically addressed Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, and the committee's ranking member, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) who has expressed concerns about Clovis' background.

Roberts eluded to the nominee's statements on crop insurance. Clovis has previously questioned the constitutionality of crop insurance, but after Tuesday's hearing, he said it was too early to say whether the Trump administration should withdraw Clovis's nomination.

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