Mindy Brashears has been chosen by U.S. President Donald J. Trump to become the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under secretary for food safety.
Brashears currently serves as a professor of food safety and food microbiology and the director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence at Texas Tech University.
At Texas Tech, she focuses much of her research on improving food safety standards. Brashears’s work evaluates interventions in pre- and post-harvest environments and on the emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance in animal feeding systems and has resulted in the commercialization of a pre-harvest feed additive that can reduce E. coli and Salmonella in cattle.
Additionally, she leads international research teams to Mexico, Central America, and South America to set up sustainable agriculture systems in impoverished areas.
Brashears is a past-chair of the National Alliance for Food Safety and Security and of the USDA multi-state research group.
Brashears will need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate in order to assume the post.
The selection of Brashears to fill the under secretary position has drawn the praise of the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). Zippy Duvall, the president of AFBF, issued the following statement: “Consumers deserve to have confidence that their food is safe and that sound science is used to ensure they have access to the most wholesome products. That is why President Trump’s selection of Dr. Mindy Brashears as Under Secretary for Food Safety is welcome news to America’s farmers and ranchers. Her extensive and innovative track record of improving food safety standards is an excellent fit at USDA, where food safety remains a core part of the agency’s mission, and always a priority for farmers and ranchers.”