Department of Agriculture

Council Member: Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture

Council Designee: Dr. Janey Thorton, Deputy Under the Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture

As Deputy Under Secretary for USDA's Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Dr. Janey Thornton is responsible for improving the health and well-being of all Americans by expanding access to nutritious, affordable food and providing dietary guidance, nutrition policy coordination, and nutrition education across USDA's 15 nutrition assistance programs. Dr. Thornton has served as FNCS Deputy Under Secretary since 2009.

Prior to coming to USDA, Dr. Thornton acted as School Nutrition Director for Hardin County Schools in Elizabethtown, Kentucky and served as president of the 55,000-member School Nutrition Association during the 2006-2007 school year. She has also served as President of the School Nutrition Foundation and as an active member of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation. Dr. Thornton began her career teaching vocational home economics and has also worked at the Kentucky Department of Education. 

A native of Kentucky, Dr. Thornton holds a Doctoral degree from Iowa State University, as well as a Master of Science degree in Vocational Education and School Administration from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Thornton received her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics from Western Kentucky University.

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