Ag Nominee Vilsack Receives Strong Support at Confirmation Hearing


As far as Senate confirmation hearings go, yesterday’s testimony by President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to become the next Secretary of Agriculture proved to be a big yawn. Questions asked of former two-term Iowa Governor Thomas Vilsack seemed soft, often patronizing, during the 2-1/2 hour question and answer session.

Watch a video of the entire testimony:


Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, pointed to health care reform as an opportunity for the USDA. “I think we have a big role to play in that in…(with) the reauthorization of Child Nutrition Program. That’s the only thing we have to do this year,” he said. Gov. Vilsack pledged to implement the 2008 Farm Bill–and the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Program. “We can work with our schools to insure that fresh fruits and vegetables are available,” and work with local producers and ensure distributions systems are in place, he told the senators. Read More >