Tom Vilsack Confirmed as Secretary of Agriculture; Industry Reaction

On Tuesday, Tom Vilsack was confirmed by he US Senate as the new Secretary of Agriculture. Read industry reaction to the confirmation below and stay tuned for more info on this story.

Growth Energy Statement on Confirmation of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement on the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Tom Vilsack to be U.S Secretary of Agriculture:

“We congratulate Secretary Vilsack and are excited to work with him and his team on supporting rural America. As seen throughout his confirmation hearing and reflected in his tremendous record of public and private service to the agriculture community, Vilsack is exactly who our farmers, producers, and rural communities need in their corner right now.”

“Additionally, Secretary Vilsack has been a tireless champion of the biofuels industry over the years and understands the important role biofuels should play in our country’s climate change initiatives which the Biden Administration has put at the forefront of its agenda.

“We look forward to working together to support rural economies and build back better with biofuels.”

Wheat Organizations Welcome Tom Vilsack Back to USDA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) are pleased with the bipartisan U.S. Senate vote today approving the appointment of former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to that important post again under the Biden-Harris Administration.

“We welcome Secretary Vilsack’s return to USDA in a year that is projected to see record U.S. agricultural exports,” said USW President Vince Peterson, who currently serves on the USDA Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade. “We look forward to working with him again to continue building on the successful export market development partnership between U.S. wheat farmers and USDA.”

“NAWG applauds the Senate for its timely consideration and strong bipartisan support for confirming Secretary Vilsack to lead the USDA once again,” said NAWG CEO Chandler Goule. “Like many farmers across the country, wheat growers are facing economic challenges, and we are pleased to see the Senate and President work to fill these leadership positions at the USDA with qualified candidates, so we can continue to work on policy that benefits rural America. Secretary Vilsack is uniquely qualified to head up the USDA, having served there previously, and has an exceptional understanding of agricultural and rural issues. We look forward to working with him and continuing to build our relationship with the USDA.”

RFA Congratulates Tom Vilsackon Confirmation as Ag Secretary

The U.S. Senate today approved Tom Vilsack to be the next Secretary of Agriculture, by a 92-7 vote. A former governor of Iowa, Vilsack also served as Ag Secretary in the Obama Administration. The following is a statement from Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper:

“Tom Vilsack is the right leader at the right time for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and he intimately understands that agriculture can and should play a vital role in addressing our world’s most pressing challenges—from food and energy security to climate change and environmental justice. Secretary Vilsack knows that renewable fuels like ethanol provide a solution that is available today for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, slashing harmful tailpipe pollutants, enhancing domestic energy security, and bolstering the rural economy. We congratulate Secretary Vilsack and look forward to working with him to pursue President Biden’s vision for enhancing and expanding our nation’s production and use of clean, green renewable fuels.”

ACE Congratulates Tom Vilsack for His Confirmation as USDA Secretary

SIOUX FALLS, SD – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate cast their vote confirming Tom Vilsack to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

“We congratulate Tom Vilsack on his confirmation to once again lead USDA and look forward to working with him on our priority issues, including the timely matter of direct aid to biofuel producers through the optional authority provided by Congress in the latest round of stimulus. We will also work with Secretary Vilsack to advocate for biofuels within the Administration by pushing the EPA to get the RFS back on track and ensuring corn ethanol is part of climate solution. Other priorities we will engage USDA on include promoting infrastructure for E15 and E85 use, incentivizing farmers to engage in climate-smart practices which help reduce the carbon intensity of corn ethanol and restoring export market opportunities.”

For more on ACE’s ethanol priorities with EPA and the Department of Agriculture, click here.

NBB Congratulates Secretary Tom Vilsack on Confirmation

Biodiesel industry welcomes Vilsack’s return to role as agriculture, biofuel champion

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) congratulated Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as the U.S. Senate confirmed him to again serve in the role. In his confirmation hearing, Vilsack emphasized that “biofuels continue to play a role in reducing emissions and providing job opportunities in all parts of the country.”

Kurt Kovarik, NBB’s Vice President of Federal Affairs, states, “On behalf of NBB’s members, I want to congratulate Secretary Vilsack and thank him for his commitments to the Renewable Fuel Standard and to continuing to build infrastructure for higher blends of biodiesel. The biodiesel industry very much looks forward to working with him to ensure that biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels continue to be key components of the nation’s efforts to meet climate goals while also growing rural economies.”

The U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel industry supports 65,000 U.S. jobs and more than $17 billion in economic activity each year. Every 100 million gallons of production supports 3,200 jobs and $780 million in economic opportunity. Biodiesel production supports approximately 13 percent of the value of each U.S. bushel of soybeans.

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats, biodiesel and renewable diesel are better, cleaner fuels that are available now for use in existing diesel engines without modification. NBB is the U.S. trade association representing the entire biodiesel and renewable diesel value chain, including producers, feedstock suppliers, and fuel distributors.

AFIA Congratulates Vilsack for Second Round at USDA Helm

ARLINGTON, Va. – Feb. 23, 2021 – The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) congratulates Secretary Tom Vilsack for his second term leading the U.S. Department of Agriculture. AFIA’s President and CEO Constance Cullman issued the following statement today following Vilsack’s U.S. Senate confirmation on Capitol Hill.

“On behalf of our nearly 700 members in the U.S. animal food industry, we extend our congratulations to Secretary Vilsack for his appointment to lead the USDA. He understands that with 6,200 manufacturing facilities across the country generating over 246.4 million tons of animal food annually, our industry is the vital link between crop and animal agriculture. Just as our customers rely on us to keep animals fed, we rely on government leaders such as Secretary Vilsack who have built their careers around supporting the long-term economic growth of this essential sector.

“With the constant threat of animal disease knocking at our borders, we will continue our calls for the USDA to have the resources it needs to not only improve agricultural research and mitigate disease risks, but to create a best-in-class preparedness and response network. We hope that the agency will continue its efforts to harmonize the regulatory framework across the agencies responsible for bringing novel human and animal nutrition-improving technologies to market. Modernizing our rural infrastructure will allow the agriculture industry to fully participate in a more connected world and we stand ready to work with the agency to turn this priority into a reality.

“As our international counterparts and organizations convene to develop strategies to reduce food insecurity and environmental impact, we will support Secretary Vilsack in his diplomatic efforts to ensure science-based standards and regulations remain a top priority. Our members are committed to providing expertise and counsel to the USDA delegates charged with ensuring agriculture has a firm footing in 21st century trade agreements.”

NCGA Congratulates Tom Vilsack on Senate Confirmation to Lead USDA

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today congratulated Tom Vilsack on his Senate confirmation to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). NCGA President John Linder made the following statement.

“NCGA congratulates Secretary Vilsack on his confirmation. Corn growers appreciated his comments in support of biofuels, along with the positive role he sees agriculture playing in addressing climate change, during his confirmation hearing. Secretary Vilsack has consistently shown a willingness to listen to corn growers, to understand the issues they face on their farms, and we’ve welcomed his outreach to agriculture. Corn growers are looking forward to working together to build long-term demand for our product, mitigate the impact of climate change, seek new markets around the globe, and continue to feed and fuel the world.”

NMPF Statement on the Confirmation of Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture
ARLINGTON, VA – From NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern:

“All of U.S. agriculture has an effective advocate in Tom Vilsack, and the nation will be well-served by his return to public service leading the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“We in the dairy community who have had the opportunity to work with him have seen first-hand his deep passion for rural America and his commitment to advancing agriculture and the communities it serves, from farmers and food-sector workers to the consumers and businesses that depend on USDA to meet their needs every day, in every way. That’s especially important in light of today’s pressing challenges, which include a farm economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic; climate change, sustainability and the environment; nutrition and food insecurity; international trade policies that limit U.S. exports; labor shortages that are worsening with time; and the legacies of societal injustice that need to be addressed.

“Tom Vilsack’s experience and leadership will be crucial to meeting these challenges, and more. We congratulate him on his confirmation and pledge to do our best to contribute to his successful service.”

AWC Applauds Vilsack’s Confirmation to be Agriculture Secretary

LEESBURG, VA. – American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Jackson Morrill released the following statement regarding the confirmation of Thomas Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture.

“Secretary Vilsack is the right person to lead the Department as it seeks to implement the President’s policy priorities on climate change and the economy.

“Wood products sourced from sustainably managed working forests, including tall mass timber, are actively ready to meet the challenges facing a 21st century Agriculture Department. Construction of tall wood buildings provide resilient, sustainable commercial and residential spaces in urban and suburban areas, while also supporting rural markets and producing family-wage jobs. As the federal government seeks to reduce carbon emissions, AWC stands ready to engage with the Secretary Vilsack and the Administration to ensure wood products are part of an active economic and climate solution.”

ARA is Ready to Work with Secretary Vilsack

WASHINGTON (Feb. 23, 2021) – Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) President and CEO Daren Coppock Released the following statement following the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Tom Vilsack as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture:

“We are pleased with the confirmation of Secretary Vilsack today. Having leadership in place provides certainty and a path forward as we approach the busy planting season for our members and their farmer customers.

“Secretary Vilsack will be the most experienced person to hold this position in history. That experience will allow him to hit the ground running without the learning curve that others would have faced. This also means he has the knowledge of the inner workings of the federal government, allowing him to help agriculture when possible, and defend it when necessary.

“He has a history of commitment to and understanding of the value of fundamental agricultural issues like expanding free trade, protecting crops and livestock from invasive pests and pathogens, and the need to continually advance science, technology and agricultural practices.

“Secretary Vilsack knows the positive role that agriculture can play addressing climate change through working lands conservation programs, biofuels, agronomic practices and other innovations. ARA’s membership recently adopted its policy positions for the year, and many of our values align as such. We are ready to work together to ensure that the ag retailer’s voice continues to be heard.”

Republican Leader Thompson Issues Statement on Vilsack Confirmation

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United States Senate confirmed Tom Vilsack as the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) by a vote of 92-7. Following the vote, Republican Leader of the House Committee on Agriculture, Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, issued the following statement:

“I’d like to congratulate Tom Vilsack on his confirmation as USDA Secretary. While we may not see eye to eye on all agriculture issues, I look forward to identifying opportunities for bipartisan solutions to rural America’s most pressing needs, one of which is targeted COVID relief. I implore Secretary Vilsack and the Biden Administration to unfreeze the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program funds immediately to better assist our farmers, ranchers, and producers who have been hit hard by the pandemic.”