Alexander: Tennessean Stephen Vaden Has the “Hands-On Experience” to be Agriculture Department General Counsel

Posted on November 9, 2017

 

 

***Click HERE for video of Sen. Alexander’s remarks.***

WASHINGTON, November 9, 2017 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today introduced Tennessean Stephen Vaden at his confirmation hearing to be General Counsel at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.

“Stephen grew up on a family farm in Union City, Tennessee. His father was a farmer, so he has hands-on experience for this job—and he has practiced law with two distinguished firms in Washington,” Alexander said. “Based upon his hands-on experience, his strong academic credentials, his mentorships and his practice of law, he’s very well qualified.”

Alexander continued, “I’m delighted to strongly recommend Stephen to this committee, and I urge the members of the committee to support his nomination. I hope he can be quickly considered by the full Senate.”

Alexander’s full remarks are below and video is available here.

I am here today to introduce Stephen Vaden, and I’m proud to do that.

You mentioned his background Mr. Chairman, so I won’t go into extensive detail.

He grew up on a family farm in Union City, Tennessee. His father was a farmer, so he has hands-on experience for this job.

He attended Vanderbilt University and Yale Law School, so he has some academic credentials for the job of legal counsel, which are strong.

And he’s had two strong mentors – Judge Julia Gibbons, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals member who was once my counsel when I was governor of Tennessee, and Judge Hardy Mays of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

And he has practiced law with two distinguished firms in Washington.

So based upon his hands-on experience, his strong academic credentials, his mentorships, his practice of law in the time he’s had at USDA the last few months, he’s very well qualified. Also, he’s strongly supported by his Congressman David Kustoff, of West Tennessee, who is here today, and we’re delighted to have him. 

Tennessee Farm Bureau President Jeff Aiken said, “He has a passion for agriculture that can’t be taught but is necessary in the role of General Counsel.”

Congressman Kustoff said, “This year, I have had the pleasure of working with Stephen in his interim role, and I cannot think of anyone better equipped to champion our agricultural industries in West Tennessee and across the country.”

And Secretary Perdue said, “He has a firm grasp of the legal issues facing American agriculture, and very importantly, understands the breadth and complexity of the regulatory burdens placed on our producers.” He finished by saying, “Our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers will be well served by his counsel.”

So, I’m delighted to strongly recommend Stephen to this committee, and I urge the members of the committee to support his nomination. I hope he can be quickly considered by the full Senate.