The U.S. Senate has unanimously confirmed Stephen Censky of St. Louis to serve as deputy secretary of agriculture. Censky was nominated for the post by President Donald Trump.

Stephen Censky

The deputy secretary traditionally manages the department’s day-to-day operations.

Censky has served as CEO of the American Soybean Association in St. Louis for 21 years. The national, not-for-profit trade association represents U.S. soybean farmers on policy and trade. It works as the domestic and trade advocate for all soybean producers.

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, commends Censky’s confirmation.

“For more than two decades, Stephen Censky has been a strong voice for farmers in Missouri and across the nation,” Blunt said. “His extensive knowledge and leadership in the agriculture industry, prior public service, and experience growing up on a farm will make him a tremendous asset to the department.”

During testimony last month before the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, Censky did not use the term “climate change” but stated that dealing with the controversial issue could be key to agriculture’s success.

“Our agricultural production systems and forests truly are on the front line of impact by changes in weather and climate,” Censky said. “I believe USDA has an inherent responsibility to help our farmers, ranchers and forests become more resilient.”

Censky said farmers have dealt with climate change for thousands of years.

Besides dealing with climate change, Censky said his priorities include helping farmers and ranchers, diversity markets and farm products. He also stressed the need to expand high-speed internet in rural communities.

Censky will serve in the number two spot, behind USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue.