April 26, 2018

Western Growers Statement on Confirmation of Ken Barbic for Key USDA Post

Western Growers’ Ken Barbic to serve as USDA Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations

IRVINE, Calif. (April 26, 2018) – The U.S. Senate today confirmed President Donald J. Trump’s nomination of Ken Barbic to serve as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations. Barbic joined Western Growers in 2009, and in his role as senior director of federal governmental affairs, he has worked to advocate on a number of issues including immigration reform, tax reform and the need to open international markets for U.S. agriculture. Additionally, he has served as a leader in the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance, developing recommendations and advocating for the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Ken has played a crucial role in moving the needle forward to advance the sustainability of the specialty crop industry, and his extensive legislative and industry experience will be a true asset to USDA,” said Tom Nassif, president & CEO at Western Growers. “His dedication to fighting and advocating for the farmers and farmworkers who are feeding our nation and world is unmatched, and he is going to be missed here at Western Growers.”

“Secretary Perdue is one step closer to a full team at the Agriculture Department. I’m pleased the Senate quickly confirmed Mr. Barbic in a bipartisan manner. Mr. Barbic has a strong understanding of agriculture, and we look forward to working with him,” said U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, in a press release.

Barbic, a Bakersfield native, also served as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Congressional Affairs from 2007 to 2009. In that capacity, he advocated on behalf of USTR on issues related to agriculture, labor and environment policy, trade preferences, WTO disputes and negotiations, as well as promoting passage of Free Trade Agreements with Panama, Colombia, and Korea. Barbic started his career in Washington with the House Ways and Means Committee.

About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. Our members and their workers provide over half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including nearly half of America’s fresh organic produce. Some members also farm throughout the U.S. and in other countries so people have year-round access to nutritious food. For generations, we have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers. Connect with and learn more about Western Growers on our Twitter and Facebook.