USDA Deputy Secretary Xochit Torres Small visits the SU Ag Center and the SUBR campus

Baton Rouge, La. - Xochit Torres Small, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary, visited the Southern University Ag Center and Baton Rouge campus on April 1, 2024.


The visit was Torres Small’s first stop on her nationwide tour visiting universities and land-grant institutions to speak with students and administrators about the career opportunities in rural development and all that the USDA has to offer.


Dr. Katara Williams presided over the luncheon and greetings were given by Southern University System President-Chancellor Dennis Shields and SU Ag Center Chancellor-Dean Dr. Orlando F. McMeans.


Torres Small spoke to a group of SU Ag Center and Baton Rouge campus faculty and staff along with USDA administrators and congressional representatives.


Immediately following the luncheon, she spent time in a student roundtable with the university’s USDA 1890 scholars discussing why they chose to major and agriculture and their career opportunities.


Torres Small is the first Latina to hold the position of Deputy Secretary. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on July 11, 2023.


Before serving in her current position, she served as the Under Secretary for Rural Development where she oversaw loans and grants to provide infrastructure improvements; business development; affordable housing; community facilities; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal, and high-poverty areas.


Prior to joining the USDA, Torres Small was a United States Representative for the fifth-largest district in the country. She is the first woman and first person of color to represent New Mexico's second congressional district.


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