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Axne joins USDA senior leadership

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Axne joins USDA senior leadership

Jun 07, 2023 | 1:30 pm ET
By Jay Waagmeester
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Axne joins USDA senior leadership
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(Photo illustration with images courtesy of USDA and Axne's office)

Cindy Axne, former representative for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, was appointed to a federal level leadership position. 

Axne was appointed senior adviser for rural engagement, delivery and prosperity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday.

Axne was the sole Democrat representing Iowa during her time in Congress. Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack is the U.S. secretary of agriculture.

She co-chaired the Congressional Rural Caucus and was a member of the House committees on agriculture and financial services. 

A victory for Axne during her time in office was House Resolution 2441, a bill she authored expanding mental health resources to veterans living in rural areas.

She joins the Biden administration after losing reelection against Rep. Zach Nunn in November.

Axne joins USDA senior leadership
Former Rep. Cindy Axne, IA-03, poses with President Joe Biden after the signing of a rural veteran mental health bill. (Photo courtesy of an Axne press release)

President Joe Biden praised Axne during a virtual fundraiser in October, WHO-13 reported.

“Cindy, the country needs you, and I’m not exaggerating,” Biden said. “You’re one of the best persons in the entire United States Congress. Thank you for all you’ve done.”

Axne referred to Biden as “the most impactful president we’ve seen in this country’s history.”

Axne and Democrat Tom O’Halleran from Arizona lost reelection in 2022, but both land in Biden’s administration. O’Halleran was appointed senior adviser for the natural resources conservation service. 

The appointment comes as a field of Republicans vie for the nomination to run against Biden, who announced in April he would seek a second term in 2024.

Before serving in the U.S. House, Axne worked in the Iowa executive branch, assisting various agencies.

Axne is a graduate of Valley High School and obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and master’s of business administration from Northwestern University.