On Feb. 23 Tom Vilsack was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Secretary of Agriculture in a 92-7 vote. The confirmation demonstrated strong bipartisan support for President Joe Biden’s pick for the position. Vilsack previously held the position for eight years under President Barack Obama.
The news was welcomed by agricultural organizations ready to work closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture moving forward.
“AFBF congratulates Tom Vilsack on his confirmation as the next Secretary of Agriculture. His strong track record of leadership and previous experience at USDA will serve rural America well,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Secretary Vilsack and I have spoken several times in recent weeks about opportunities and challenges facing America’s farmers and ranchers, and I look forward to close collaboration. We have a lot of work to do as we overcome obstacles created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We must commit to resuming CARES Act programs and continue 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. We also recognize the importance of strengthening the farm bill and bringing broadband to every community in America.”
There will be plenty of issues facing the USDA in the coming years and the National Farmers Union also feels Vilsack is up to the task.
“No one is more qualified to lead the USDA than Tom Vilsack. After serving as Secretary of Agriculture for eight years, he knows the agency inside and out, giving him the insight he needs to get to work right away on behalf of family farmers, rural communities, and hungry Americans,” said Rob Larew, president of the National Farmers Union.