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Vilsack is uniquely qualified for USDA secretary

Former Iowa governor has returned to federal position

Tom Vilsack is back at the helm of the United States Department of Agriculture.

The former Iowa governor was confirmed by the Senate on Feb. 23 to begin his second stint as secretary of agriculture, having served in the role for eight years under former President Barack Obama.

Having an Iowan in the position is nothing but good for Iowa’s farmers and ag-related businesses. He has already staked out a position in favor of aggressive development of the biofuels industry as a relatively easy way to tackle climate change.

In remarks before the Senate Agriculture Committee before his confirmation, Vilsack proposed building a rural economy based on what he called ”biomanufacturing.” That’s also good news for Iowa.

As mayor of Mount Pleasant, a state senator and governor of Iowa for eight years, Vilsack has been immersed in agriculture and rural life. His previous tenure in the secretary of agriculture’s office gave him crucial experience in managing a massive department that is actually one of the largest federal agencies.

He is uniquely qualified for the job.

We hope that Vilsack will consider keeping Bill Northey, the former Iowa secretary of agriculture, in his role as an assistant secretary of the USDA, or in some similar post. Doing so would give Iowa, and in fact the entire Midwest, a powerful team at the top of the department.

Welcome back, Secretary Vilsack. Our farmers and rural communities look forward to working with you.

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