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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Breaking News: Vilsack to be Agriculture Secretary

President-elect Barack Obama, a backer of tighter farm subsidy rules and renewable fuels from rural America, selected former Gov. Tom Vilsack from the major U.S. farm state of Iowa to be agriculture secretary, a Democratic official said on Tuesday. Obama supports a $250,000 a year "hard" cap on farm payments and stricter rules on who qualifies as a farmer, changes that could save $100 million a year. Last month, he cited a congressional report on improper farm payments as an example of where to save federal money. Vilsack, a popular two-term governor of Iowa, was the first Democrat into the race for president won by Obama. He withdrew from the race three months later in February 2007. He was not immediately available for comment. Critics said Vilsack is too much of a supporter of agricultural biotechnology and not enough of a friend to organic or sustainable farmers. More here.

Follow Up 12.17.08: Click here to tell Obama you'd rather he picked an Ag Secretary concerned about a just and sustainable food and farming system not more of the same subsidy-fueled factory farming and bio-tech/fuel crops.
Hat tip: Amy Rice-Jones.

posted by CASFS 2006 @ 8:09 PM

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