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Brashears Confirmed for USDA Food Safety Post
Kansas Ag Connection - 03/24/2020

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Monday announced that Dr. Mindy Brashears was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Upon swearing in, Dr. Brashears will serve as under secretary of agriculture for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"I am pleased the Senate has acted on Dr. Brashears' nomination to continue leading food safety efforts at the U.S. Department of Agriculture," Roberts said. "She has proven to be a capable leader, and I'm confident she'll continue to get the job done."

Dr. Brashears was favorably reported out of the Senate Agriculture Committee with bipartisan support in May, 2019 following a hearing on herself and two other nominees -- Naomi Earp as assistance secretary of agriculture for civil rights, and Scott Hutchins as under secretary of agriculture for research, education and economics -- in November 2018.

Brashears is a professor and director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence at Texas Tech University. Her research focuses on interventions in pre-and post-harvest environments and on the emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance. Her interests are primarily in meat and poultry products, with some work on spinach as well. Her work has resulted in the commercialization of pre-harvest feed additives that reduce E. coli and Salmonella in cattle. She also leads international research teams to Mexico, Belize and Argentina to improve food safety and security in those sectors and to set up sustainable agriculture systems in impoverished areas. She teaches courses in food microbiology and food safety and offers industry training in food sanitation, recalls and food security. She holds a B.S. in food technology from Texas Tech and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in food science from Oklahoma State University.

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