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Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Confirmation of Xochitl Torres Small as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Ernie Watson
Albuquerque, N.M.
Release Date

New Mexico Native to Be Sworn in as Deputy Secretary

On Monday July 17, 2023


WASHINGTON, July 11, 2023 – Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on the confirmation of Xochitl Torres Small Becomes Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

 "Xochitl Torres Small has dedicated her career to serving the agriculture industry and the American people, and I have witnessed her lead with energy, authenticity and personal investment that I know will leave an impact on USDA for years to come. As the granddaughter of migrant farm workers, Xochitl experienced firsthand the challenges that many producers and rural communities face day in and day out. The hard work and determination she witnessed informs her commitment to public service and her respect for those we serve. Under her leadership, our Rural Development team has made record progress working to drive down energy costs, improve access to high-speed internet, expand processing capacity to help America’s livestock producers attain fairer prices for their work, and provide affordable housing options for rural residents.

 “At this critical time when USDA and the Biden-Harris Administration are laser-focused on mobilizing historic investments to rebuild our economy and secure healthier, more vibrant communities for future generations, I am grateful to have Xochitl’s partnership at the helm of the People’s Department. She has time and again met the moment with a collaborative approach and a can-do spirit, and I applaud Congress for confirming her as USDA’s next Deputy Secretary.”    

USDA Rural Development State Director Patricia Dominguez added, “We are so happy and excited to have a New Mexican be chosen for this position.” Dominguez continued, “We have seen Xochitl share her talents to work tirelessly in support of her state and the entire Nation. She has proven herself as a true and committed leader while being Rural Development’s Undersecretary.  New Mexico Rural Development wishes her well in her new position.”

Since October 2021, Torres Small has served as Under Secretary for Rural Development at USDA. Effective July 14, Rural Development Chief Operating Officer Roger Glendenning will serve as Acting Under Secretary.

 Prior to joining USDA, Torres Small was a United States Representative for the fifth largest district in the country. As a Member of Congress, she served as a member of the House Agriculture Committee, the House Armed Services Committee and as chairwoman of the Oversight, Management, and Accountability Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee. Xochitl was the first woman and first person of color to represent New Mexico’s second congressional district.