FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2021
Contact: Hannah Packman, 303-819-8737
WASHINGTON – In a 92-7 vote, the U.S. Senate today confirmed Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture, demonstrating strong bipartisan support for President Joe Biden’s pick. Vilsack previously held the position for eight years under President Barack Obama.
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Rob Larew released the following statement in response to the news:
“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.
“That’s a good thing, because there is no shortage of things to get done; most immediately, he must prioritize pandemic recovery. That means ensuring that all Americans have access to food, providing farmers of all types and sizes with the relief they need to stay in business, helping rural hospitals treat critically ill patients and distribute vaccines, and protecting workers across the food chain from covid-19.
“But the pandemic is hardly the only problem beleaguering agriculture; the industry is also grappling with a rapidly changing climate, unchecked corporate power, persistent oversupply, institutional racism, an aging population, and insufficient local processing infrastructure. During his second stint as Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack can’t let any of these issues fall by the wayside. We look forward to working with him towards lasting, meaningful reforms that will secure a bright and prosperous future for family farmers and their communities.”
National Farmers Union advocates on behalf of nearly 200,000 American farm families and their communities. We envision a world in which farm families and their communities are respected, valued, and enjoy economic prosperity and social justice.