President Trump this week selected Mindy Brashears to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s undersecretary for Food Safety, reports the National Pork Producers Council.
Brashears is a professor of food microbiology and food safety and serves as director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence at Texas Tech University. NPPC reports that she has conducted research on interventions in pre- and post-harvest environments and on the emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance.
“Food safety is at the core of USDA’s mission, because it directly affects the health and well-being of millions of Americans every day,” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “President Trump has made an excellent choice in Dr. Mindy Brashears, and I am excited to have her join the team.
“Dr. Brashears has spent decades finding ways to improve food safety standards through innovation, invention, and leadership on research missions across the globe,” he continued. “I look forward to her bringing that wealth of expertise and track record of results here to USDA.
NPPC noted that Brashears research efforts resulted in commercialization of a pre-harvest feed additive that can reduce E. coli and Salmonella in cattle.
“She has led international research teams to Mexico and to Central and South America to improve food safety and security and to set up sustainable agriculture systems in poor areas,” NPPC said in its weekly Capitol Report. “She also has provided industry training in food sanitation, recalls and food security. NPPC will urge the Senate to quickly confirm Brashers for the important USDA position.”
Former Farm Journal contributor, Chuck Jolley, interviewed Brashears in 2015. Here’s a short excerpt:
“Investing my life in the lives of other people and utilizing the gifts that God gave me to make the world a better place is the most satisfying part of my life. I want my children to grow up with a passion for all people with no reservations about interacting with different people groups. I maintain a very diverse laboratory population with varying beliefs representing just about all parts of the world. My children have grown up around diversity for their entire life.