The building, the office and the desk of the U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary may not have changed all that much over the past four years, but the challenges facing America’s farmers certainly have. Those challenges are now in the hands of the 32nd Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, who just so happens to have been the 30th leader of USDA under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017.
Vilsack was confirmed to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Feb. 23 by a Senate vote of 92-7.
“Mr. Vilsack’s previous experience as secretary of agriculture gives him a unique advantage in understanding the complexities of the agriculture sector,” said Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Adam Sharp. “Farm Bureau has a well-established and long-standing relationship with Secretary Vilsack and we look forward to building on that relationship to support farmers and rural America.”
American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall and Secretary Vilsack have spoken several times in recent weeks about opportunities and challenges facing America’s farmers and ranchers. In their conversations, they covered the need to overcome obstacles created by the COVID-19 pandemic, resuming the CARES Act programs and continuing to build on advances made in trade.
“We must move forward on the successes made in climate-smart practices while seeking partnerships to ensure new environmental policies remain market-based and voluntary,” Duvall said. “We also recognize the importance of strengthening the farm bill and bringing broadband to every community in America. We stand ready to work with Secretary Vilsack and USDA on issues that benefit this nation’s farmers and ranchers – his success means rural America’s success.”
Photo credit: USDA Photo by Lance Cheung