WASHINGTON, DC, US — US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky will be stepping down from the US Department of Agriculture on Nov. 8 to return to the American Soybean Association (ASA).

After serving as chief executive officer (CEO) of ASA for 21 years Censky left to become the US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture in October 2017.

He will return to ASA as CEO on Nov. 9.

“There is no doubt that I personally, as well as the whole USDA family will miss Steve’s experience, preparedness, and steady leadership,” said US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “During his tenure as deputy secretary, we accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time even in the face of serious challenges in American agriculture.

 “Steve’s roots are in agriculture and he is one of the best and most professional public servants America has. His wise counsel helped us make USDA the most efficient, effective, customer-focused department in the entire federal government, and I am forever grateful for his invaluable guidance and input. I join the entire USDA family in wishing Steve and his family all the best as he heads back to ASA in November.”

Censky will resume his post following the June departure of Ryan Findlay, who ASA credited with helping the organization restructure internally and establish an independent government affairs office in Washington, DC, US.

“It has been a true honor to serve my country on behalf of American agriculture,” Censky said. “These past few years have seen tremendous developments, and I am humbled to have served a role in implementing a farm bill, launching the USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda, supporting America’s farmers against trade retaliation, and now assisting farmers and ranchers and feeding families affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is a privilege to return to ASA and represent our nation’s soybean growers. ASA is in many ways home, and I’m excited about working with both new and familiar faces in St. Louis and DC and building on the great changes accomplished since I was last there.”

Censky began his career working as a legislative assistant for Senator Jim Abdnor. Later he served in both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations at the USDA, eventually serving as administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service where he was involved in running US export programs.

While at the ASA he helped with foreign market expansion during his tenure, use of soy in biodiesel and biobased products grew into significant markets, soybeans became a program crop under the farm bill, and ASA’s long-term foreign development arm, the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH), helped build soy demand in emerging markets.