The Journal Gazette
Friday, April 12, 2019 3:30 pm

Senate confirms Kip Tom as agriculture representative to UN

BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Kosciusko County farmer Kip Tom as the nation's representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome.

The Senate approved Tom's nomination by unanimous consent on Thursday evening.

“As a leader in the agriculture community with significant experience in humanitarian relief, Kip Tom is well suited to represent the United States as we work to address food insecurity and malnutrition around the world,” Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., said Friday in a statement.

Young said he had recommended Tom for the appointment in 2017. Young is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee that oversees the U.N. and its agencies.

President Donald Trump nominated Tom, 63, last July for agriculture representative to the U.N., an ambassador-level position. The Foreign Relations Committee recommended Tom's nomination to the full Senate in September and again this month.

During a Senate confirmation hearing last August, Tom said that helping countries in Africa and the Middle East cope with climate change would be among his goals if he became the agriculture representative to the U.N.

Tom has been chief executive officer of Leesburg-based Tom Farms, which grows corn, soybeans and seed corn in seven northern Indiana counties and is among Indiana's largest farming operations. He has extensive experience in global agriculture ventures as well.

He was believed to have been among candidates Trump considered for agriculture secretary before choosing Sonny Perdue, a former Georgia governor, in 2017. Tom had been a member of Trump's team of agriculture advisers during the 2016 presidential campaign.

He finished a close second to Jim Banks for the 2016 Republican nomination for northeast Indiana's seat in the U.S. House. Banks went on to easily win the general election that fall.

Tom has been a member of the boards of directors for the Indiana Economic Development Corp. and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and he has been on the advisory board for the Indiana Department of Agriculture.



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