On June 18, President Biden announced his intent to nominate former Representative Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM-02) for undersecretary of Rural Development at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Torres Small began her career as a field organizer in southern New Mexico and as a field representative for former Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), whose work on rural water issues inspired her to practice law as a water rights attorney. Following President Biden’s announcement, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack released a statement noting that Torres Small’s nomination to serve as Under Secretary for Rural Development at the USDA “reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing rural prosperity.” In his statement, Secretary Vilsack also noted that Torres Small’s expertise will further the USDA’s mission to advance equity and opportunity in and for rural America.
During her tenure in Congress, Torres Small earned praise from fellow lawmakers for her deep understanding of rural issues and pragmatic approach to public service. In a statement supporting her nomination, Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) highlighted her commitment to advancing key investments in rural economies including universal broadband deployment, affordable housing, clean water and clean energy infrastructure, and assistance for small business owners. Torres Small previously served on the Agriculture Committee and was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. Enterprise supports Torres Small’s nomination for Under Secretary of Rural Development, and we encourage the Senate to move quickly to confirm her nomination.