Sunset behind the United States Capital in Washington D.C.The U.S. Senate has confirmed Doug McKalip as chief agricultural negotiator at the U.S. trade representative’s office and Jose Esteban as Agriculture undersecretary for food safety. Senate Agriculture chair Debbie Stabenow said confirmation of the nominees was delayed three months and became “long overdue”.

Stabenow says McKalip is ready for the essential task of growing new markets abroad and protecting producers from unfair trade practices. In a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing, McKalip said it will be his duty to break down barriers to U.S. food and ag exports. Meanwhile, Esteban will serve as USDA leader on issues ranging from food-borne illness prevention to cell-cultured meat regulation.

Read more on the newly appointed USDA leaders here.