Tom Vilsack: The Best Pick for Secretary of Agriculture?
As President-elect Obama chooses his cabinet, more specifically the Secretary of Agriculture, I have to ask myself what does his choice for one of the most important national positions mean to folks that are advocating for better food policies? Will the new Secretary of Agriculture support the efforts of local farmers, work create a fair market for grain, and get the agriculture sector to move away from biofuel?In The Nation’s blog, on December 17th, John Nicholas describes the many responsibilities of this position and gives us an insight on how much money goes into the Department of Agriculture. He writes,
With a $97 billion annual budget and roughly 110,000 employees -- more than the departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Energy combined – the [Department of Agriculture] is one of the largest non-defense agencies in the federal government. And its hand is everywhere, with thousands of county extension offices spread across every state.
I encourage folks to read the article. Nicholas gives a history of past candidates and picks and compares Vilsack to other candidates considered for the position. Go to: http://www.thenation.com/blogs/thebeat?pid+390018