Not progressive enough for progressives. Not woke enough for racial injustice but a great friend to Big Ag, Big Chem, and Big Pharma. What should the Economic Nationalist Populist movement make of him?
With Tom Vilsack’s (D) nomination to serve, yet again as the Secretary of Agriculture, American Farmers may wonder if they should expect a reboot of the Obama administration policies or if the policies will be more progressive authoritarian under a Biden administration. In his February 2nd confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry Committee, Vilsack received unanimous approval. The Farmers Business Network chief economist considers Vilsack to be “a friend to [the establishment].”
Joe Biden and Tom Vilsack (2019)
Tom Vilsack served as the Governor of Iowa from 1999 to 2007, ran for President briefly, and eventually became Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture from 2009 to 2017. He then went on to lobby for the Dairy Export Council, racking up close to $1 million annually.
Under the Obama administration, Vilsack was criticized by progressives and environmentalists for his ties to Monsanto while also being heavily criticized by civil rights groups for discrimination.
Vilsack’s priorities include addressing discrimination across the USDA, rooting out systemic racism, and building a more diverse team. Stating that America “must build back better, stronger and more resilient and more equitably than ever before.”
Vilsack also outlined that he will be pushing the industry to embrace sustainable and regenerative practices to help mitigate and reduce climate change while becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
By using the Commodity Credit Corporation for “carbon banking,” Vilsack proposes to incentivize farmers to capture carbon on their farms.