As the American Soybean Association (ASA) brings on a new slate of soy growers to oversee the organization in 2021, it applauds news of Tom Vilsack’s nomination to lead the USDA.
ASA’s farmer-leaders would like to welcome back the former two-term Iowa governor who served as Secretary of Agriculture for eight years during the Obama Administration.
“We are thrilled to hear that such a qualified candidate with a solid track record supporting policy and regulatory decisions important to soybean growers is on deck to lead USDA in 2021,” incoming ASA President Kevin Scott said. “Vilsack, who is from a large soybean-producing state, brings significant experience, having led USDA effectively in the past, and will hit the ground running upon his return.”
Scott also pointed to Vilsack’s agriculture knowledge and emphasized his history of advocating for biodiesel and biotechnology, among other soybean farmer concerns.
“In his years as USDA secretary under the Obama Administration, Vilsack was a staunch supporter for renewable fuel initiatives, biotechnology advances, fair trade agreements and preserving the farm safety net,” Scott said. “U.S. soy growers would welcome his support and the opportunity to work with him again.”
ASA, along with other agriculture groups, urges the U.S. Senate to swiftly confirm Vilsack’s nomination when officially submitted in January and is appreciative of its long history working with USDA.
“He wasn’t anxious to come back, he wasn’t looking for this job, but I was persistent and I asked him to serve again in this role because he knows the USDA inside and out, he knows the government inside and out,” Biden said of Vilsack, who has served as CEO of the US Dairy Export Council since leaving USDA. “We need that experience now.”
The American Soybean Association (ASA) represents U.S. soybean farmers on domestic and international policy issues important to the soybean industry. ASA has 26 affiliated state associations, including the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, and represents 30 soybean-producing states and more than 300,000 soybean farmers.