Friends of the Earth Statement on Impending Nomination of Tom Vilsack for USDA Secretary
WASHINGTON– In response to reports that Joe Biden plans to offer Tom Vilsack the job of USDA Secretary, Kari Hamerschlag, Deputy Director of Friends of the Earth’s Food and Agriculture Program, issued the following statement:
We are deeply disappointed that President-elect Biden appears to have selected an agribusiness lobbyist with a tarnished record on civil rights, consolidation, and the environment as his USDA Secretary. We hope that Secretary Vilsack has learned from his checkered first term at the USDA and will this time take on the agribusiness lobby that dominates the agency.
In order to implement Biden’s climate and racial justice agenda, Vilsack must be willing to transform the USDA to support a more diversified, regenerative, healthy and just food system. He must ensure economic justice for independent and BIPOC farmers, protections for food workers, and access to healthy food for every American.
Vilsack’s potential selection adds urgency to the need for qualified women, candidates of color, and progressives to fill USDA Deputy Secretary and undersecretary roles.