Meet Your New Ag Secretary

Updated 12/19

Vilsack PoohAnd it’s … Tom Vilsack.

The New York Times reported on it this morning and, conspicuously, their article mentions very little about his stance on food. Instead, the piece focuses on how Vilsack shares President-Elect Obama’s dedication to renewable energy and biofuel technology. Green power is a laudable goal, but excuse me for feeling that the US Secretary of Agriculture should take a larger view of agriculture than biofuel. Then again, I suppose being the Governor of a corn-rich state like Iowa could have had some influence on his positions.

Unfortunately, this means that the great recommendations in the Food Democracy Now petition were overlooked in favor of an agri-business and bio-tech supporter. Vilsack is admittedly a better choice for the position than some of the past figures to hold the post, but it doesn’t bode well for sustainable food advocates that most of the talk about his nomination focuses on ethanol and subsidies. Better get ready to lobby hard for the next Farm Bill.

To learn more about Vilsack and his positions, take a look at some of these articles:

Des Moines Register on the pick

An editorial from the Des Moines Register on Vilsack continuing the status quo

The Ethicurean’s round-up of coverage on Vilsack

Tom Philpott of Grist.org weighs in on Vilsack’s history

Michael Pollan on NPR’s Morning Edition

New York Times editorial on “Fixing Agriculture”

Thanks for sharing