February 24, 2021

Senate overwhelmingly votes to confirm Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and John Boozman, R-Ark., Ranking Member, announced Feb. 23 that the U.S. Senate voted 92-7 to confirm Tom Vilsack to serve as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

“After an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, Secretary Vilsack can now get to work and help our farmers, families, and rural communities,” Stabenow said. “I look forward to partnering with him to address the challenges for our farmers and rural communities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, feed American families in need, and create new markets while curbing the climate crisis.”

RELATED: Vilsack outlines priorities for USDA

Tom Vilsack

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on Secretary Vilsack’s nomination on Feb. 2, 2021, and favorably reported him out of the Committee with bipartisan support.“Secretary Vilsack has a track record of working with Congress, and today’s strong bipartisan vote expresses the Senate’s confidence that he will continue that approach moving forward. Congress and the administration must work together to address the many pressing matters facing the ag community and rural America, particularly the need to provide swift relief to those affected by the ongoing pandemic. Building a good relationship with Secretary Vilsack will help us achieve our mutual goals while ensuring that the needs of farmers and ranchers are always at the forefront of USDA’s agenda,” said Ranking Member Boozman.

Reactions

Statement by United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel on the Senate approval of Tom Vilsack to serve as Secretary of the U. S. Department of Agriculture:

“I want to Congratulate Secretary Vilsack on his confirmation to once again lead USDA after a resounding bipartisan vote in the Senate. Secretary Vilsack has long been a friend of the fresh produce industry. On issues ranging from food and nutrition security to labor challenges in agriculture, Secretary Vilsack has shown commitment to finding positive solutions. We are particularly looking forward to working with Secretary Vilsack on a new Food Box program which has proved to be a critical step in providing healthy fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need, while supporting small farms and distributors around the country.”

Western Growers Statement on Confirmation of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack:

In response to the Senate’s confirmation of Tom Vilsack as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Western Growers President & CEO Dave Puglia issued the following statement:

“We are pleased the Senate has confirmed Tom Vilsack as Secretary. Our work with him during his previous service as Secretary yielded positive policy actions for the fresh produce industry. Looking ahead, we must band together to address short term, pandemic-related needs such as funding for worker safety costs, as well as larger and longer term threats to the viability of farming in the West. Over the next four years, we know Secretary Vilsack will work with us as he has in the past to ensure economic prosperity for America’s family farmers.”


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