Biden USDA transition team leader described as ‘bridge builder’
A former coworker of Robert Bonnie, the head of the Biden USDA transition team, says Bonnie will be able to bring people together.
“I think the thing that would characterize Robert is that he’s a bridge builder,” says Phil Karsting, former administrator of the USDA’s Foreign Ag Service in the Obama administration.
Robert Bonnie is former Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment and Karsting says, “He also, through is forest service and NRCS duties, brought to those tasks real world experience of having managed his own farmland and forest land. So, I think he’s got some real cred on all those topics.”
Karsting says Bonnie will be a strong advocate for climate change mitigation, “Obviously, climate will be a big issue for discussion in the coming Congress and if I were a farmer I would want Robert Bonnie in the room when those topics come up precisely because he IS a bridge builder and not a flame thrower.”
Karsting, an attorney with Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz law firm focused on agriculture, is former CEO of the World Food program USA. He made his comments on a recent panel discussion about the election hosted by the Ag Business Council of Kansas City. Karsting says he has worked “on the margins” of the Biden campaign, offering input.