Biden nominates Torres Small to fill USDA post

By Erin Voegele | June 21, 2021

President Biden on June 18 announced his intent to nominate Xochitl Torres Small to serve as under secretary of rural development at USDA. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has spoken out in support of her nomination.

“Representative Xochitl Torres Small’s nomination to serve as Under Secretary for Rural Development reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing rural prosperity,” Vilsack said. “Her nomination is responsive to rural stakeholders and Congress; both have emphasized the importance of having a dedicated advocate for rural communities among the Department’s Subcabinet. As the daughter of migrant farm workers and a native of rural New Mexico, Torres Small represents the heart and soul of rural communities. Representative Torres Small began her work in southern New Mexico, serving as a field organizer in colonias, and continued her work in rural New Mexico as a field representative for Senator Tom Udall, where she collaborated with local leaders and elected officials. She went on to the University of New Mexico School of Law and in 2018 became the first woman and first person of color to represent New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District, the largest district that isn’t its own state. Throughout her career, Representative Torres Small has put her experience to use in the name of making lasting investments in the people, institutions and infrastructure essential for tribal nations and communities throughout the rural U.S. to thrive. Her expertise will further USDA’s mission to advance equity and opportunity in and for rural America. I am fully confident in Representative Torres Small’s ability to excel in this essential role at the Department.”

USDA Rural Development administers many programs related to biofuels and bioenergy, including the Advanced Biofuels Payment Program; the Biorefinery Renewable Chemical and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program; the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program; and the Rural Energy for America Program.