One former lobbyist now leads the department's deregulatory team, and visitor logs show old ties remain strong.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the top Democrat on the Agriculture Committee, called his withdrawal a "victory for science."
Though not requested by Trump administration, the change may reflect how some staff are reacting to its values.
Sam Clovis (pictured) is likely to be named the undersecretary of the section that manages research on everything from climate change to nutrition.
Chicken is a staple food in most American homes and is by far the most popular meat purchased in the country. And yet, when nearly 50 million people fall ill each year due to tainted food, poultry tends to be the main culprit.
The Obama administration is set to dramatically reduce the USDA's oversight of the nation's poultry slaughterhouses while allowing companies to speed up their kill lines.
And you thought pink slime was bad: The Obama administration is proposing to fire USDA inspectors and let the poultry industry inspect its own slaughterhouse lines—while simultaneously speeding up the kill line.