Trump to pick Indiana’s top farm policy director for Agriculture post

Ted McKinney became director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture in January 2014. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana’s top farm policy director is to be nominated by President Donald Trump as an undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, its secretary said Wednesday.

Trump intends to nominate Ted McKinney as undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a news release. The position was mandated in the 2014 Farm Bill in response to growing world trade for U.S. farm goods, and its creation was announced in May in Cincinnati by Perdue.

Ted McKinney became Gov. Mike Pence’s director of the State Department of Agriculture in January 2014. According to his online biography, McKinney grew up in Tipton, and has worked more than 30 years in various agricultural industries including Elanco Animal Health and Dow AgroSciences. He is a co-founder of the Council for Biotechnology Information, a public information program sponsored by a consortium of companies involved with the development of crop biotechnology.

He is a co-chair of the National FFA Conventions Local Organizing Committee in Indianapolis and a member of the Indiana State Fair Commission.

Gov. Eric Holcomb issued this statement Wednesday night:

Ted will be a strong voice in this new role with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He took agriculture to the next level in Indiana with his wealth of experience and enthusiasm in all sectors of the agriculture community, and I know he will do the same for our nation in this position as undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs.

Another Indiana official also is going to work for Trump, The Associated Press reported Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Holcomb said Personnel Department Director Brandye Hendrickson is taking a job as a deputy administrator with the Federal Highway Administration. Her last day will be Friday.

Hendrickson was commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation under former Gov. Mike Pence, who is now vice president. Holcomb appointed her to head up the personnel department after he took office in January. Before Pence picked Hendrickson to lead INDOT, she served as a deputy commissioner for the agency from 2007 to 2015

Holcomb’s office said he will pick her replacement in the coming weeks.

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