The Senate has approved the nomination of Charles Conner, former White House assistant for agriculture, to be the new deputy secretary of agriculture.

The action, which was by unanimous consent, came after Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, removed a hold on Conner’s nomination. Craig and other senators have been unhappy with provisions of the Central American Free Trade Agreement-Dominican Republic.

Prior to serving as President Bush’s top agricultural adviser, Conner was president of the Corn Refiners Association in Washington. He also served as staff director of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

A native of Indiana, Conner received a bachelor's degree from Purdue University.