SALEM, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement today, after the U.S. Senate confirmed President Biden’s appointment of Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Alexis Taylor as the Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):
“I’d like to thank Director Taylor for her committed service to the people of Oregon and wish her my very best in her new role,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Over the last six years, she has led the Oregon Department of Agriculture with purpose, determination, and compassion. Her commitment to collaboration, equity, and inclusion has been unwavering, even as our state faced unprecedented challenges over the past few years.
“I cannot think of a better nominee for this role. Director Taylor’s passion for agriculture—rooted in her Midwest, family-owned farm upbringing—combined with her years of experience in agricultural issues at the local, statewide, and national levels, will serve our country well. I know that she will bring an approach focused on advancing U.S. agriculture and growing our economy, while at the same time working to ensure equity, safety, and collaboration.”
Governor Brown appointed Taylor as director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) in November 2016. During her time at ODA, Taylor took diversity, equity, and inclusion work to the next level and created a culture of unification and innovation. In addition, she led the department through the COVID-19 pandemic and a series of natural disasters including a deep freeze, heat dome event, and wildfires. Her reputation for fiscal responsibility, integrity, and strong industry and partner relationships led the state to fund several new ODA programs, including the Oregon Disaster Assistance Program, the Food Security and Farmworker Safety Program, and the Oregon State Meat Inspection Program. These programs combined provided more than $75 million in assistance, creating stability and opportunities for Oregon agriculture today and tomorrow.
Prior to this role, Taylor served as the deputy under secretary for the Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services at the USDA, where she was responsible for advancing international trade policy and leading efforts with states to support and open new, international market opportunities for U.S. food and agriculture producers. Additionally, Taylor led the USDA’s Women in Agriculture Initiative, which is dedicated to fostering and growing a mentoring network for women pursuing careers in agriculture across the country.
Before joining the USDA, Taylor served as the legislative advisor to members of the House Agriculture and Senate Finance. During her time in Congress, Taylor negotiated key provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill, as well as the Senate version of the 2012 Farm Bill, which was ultimately enacted into law as the 2014 Farm Bill. Taylor is a veteran of the Army Reserves and completed a tour of duty in Iraq. She is a proud Iowa native and a graduate of Iowa State University.
— Office of Governor Kate Brown