President-elect Obama Announces Tom Vilsack for Agriculture post
CHICAGO -- Today, President-elect Barack Obama announced that he intends to nominate former Governor Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture.
President-elect Obama said, “It’s time for a new kind of leadership in Washington that’s committed to using our lands in a responsible way to benefit all our families. That means ensuring that even as we are promoting development where it makes sense, we are also fulfilling our obligation to protect our national treasures. It means ensuring that we are using our farmlands not only to strengthen our agricultural economy, but to grow advanced biofuels that will help make the United States energy independent and create jobs. That is the kind of leadership embodied by Tom Vilsack, and I look forward to working with him in the years ahead.”
Governor Tom Vilsack, Nominee for Secretary of Agriculture
Governor Tom Vilsack was elected Democratic governor of Iowa in 1998 and re-elected in 2002. As a governor from a farm state, Vilsack has been vocal in his support for the farm bill and for renewable sources of energy. In 2003, Vilsack passed the Grow Iowa Values Fund through the state legislature, a $503 million appropriation designed to boost the Iowa economy by offering grants to corporations and initiatives pledged to create higher-income jobs. Before serving as Governor, Vilsack was mayor of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and was elected to the Iowa State Senate in 1992. Vilsack was born in Pittsburgh in 1950, and graduated from Hamilton College and Albany Law School. Vilsack and his wife, Christie, have two children.