The job of Chief Scientist at the USDA is supposed to be reserved for “distinguished scientists with specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.”
It’s bad enough that Clovis has no background in agricultural science. But Clovis is also a self-described climate skeptic—not exactly what the USDA needs during a time when global warming and extreme weather events are damaging crops and farmers’ livelihoods, degenerative industrial agriculture is accelerating global warming, and real scientists understand that organic and regenerative agriculture hold the most promise for reversing climate change.
Clovis isn’t the only unqualified candidate for a USDA position. A Politico review of political appointees to USDA reveals that the department is “stocked with Trump campaign staff and volunteers who in many cases have little to no expressed experience with federal policy, let alone deep roots in agriculture.”
What do the USDA appointees have? Politico examined the resumes of 42 USDA political appointees (provided by the watchdog group American Oversight and obtained under the Freedom of Information Act) and found that 22 of them listed Trump campaign experience—and most of those “lack direct experience working in agriculture.”
Our food system is a mess. It’s poisoning our waterways. It’s ruining our health. And for all Monsanto crows about “feeding the world,” 48 million Americans, including 13 million children, go hungry at some point in any given year.
And Trump wants a campaign manager to run the USDA?