According to a March 14 announcement made by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan will be stepping down from her position. While she has not given a reason for leaving, it is unusual for deputy secretaries to stay on for more than one term.
Merrigan, known for the “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative, has been celebrated by sustainability advocates. Under her tenure, farmers markets have increased in number and begun to accept SNAP benefits, and young farmers have been given support.
She will leave office at the end of April.