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Biden Picks Vilsack as Ag Secretary

Tom Vilsack would return to position he held for eight years during Obama's administration

President-elect Joe Biden has selected former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to reprise that role in his administration, according to people familiar with the decision.

USA Today reports that Vilsack would return to the position he held for eight years during the Obama administration. He also served two terms as Iowa's governor.

“Former Secretary Vilsack’s understanding of policies important to wheat will be critical as the department continues work to address the many economic challenges facing farmers across the country," says NAWG President and Cass City, MI wheat farmer Dave Milligan. "Previously, his willingness to meet and listen to stakeholders as the USDA develops programs and regulations was key. Former Secretary Vilsack’s wealth of experience and his knowledge of agriculture are important attributes for this role.”

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) also welcomed the news that Vilsack will be nominated to be Secretary of Agriculture.

"His leadership as the 30th Secretary of Agriculture and as Governor of a state reliant on agriculture is evidence of his qualification to serve in this role," says AFBF President Zippy Duvall.

“Tom Vilsack understands that the agriculture sector is far more complex than most people understand," continues Duvall. "I look forward to sitting down with him again to continue our conversation on how to address the opportunities and challenges facing agriculture and rural communities. The pandemic revealed both the strengths and weaknesses of our food system, which Tom has had a front row seat to witness.

“Together, we must prepare to tackle a new farm bill and build on efforts to create a fair marketplace for U.S. agriculture to compete globally. Tom Vilsack earned a reputation for rising above partisanship to serve farmers and ranchers and I’m confident he’ll continue to do so."

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