Tom Vilsack

Relief payments to Black farmers on hold amid lawsuits backed by former Trump aides

BY: - June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former Trump administration officials and conservative and libertarian nonprofits have launched lawsuits to block federal relief funds aimed at Black and minority farmers—a development that House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott of Georgia calls “an evil system at work here.” Suits have been filed in Florida, Wisconsin and Texas that say it’s unconstitutional […]

Vilsack keys in on food insecurity and nutrition in USDA budget request

BY: - April 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday laid out USDA’s goals to expand food insecurity and nutrition programs in the president’s budget request, as well as the agency’s focus on programs to address longtime racial discrimination. “Normally I would talk to you all about numbers in the budget,” Vilsack told members of the House […]

U.S. House Agriculture panel probes ‘systemic’ USDA discrimination against Black farmers

BY: - March 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday heard about how Black farmers have faced decades of racial discrimination in their dealings with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The committee’s chairman, Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., said the testimony at the virtual hearing would help the panel craft legislation that aims to increase the number of […]

COMMENTARY

President Biden, don’t make the same mistakes in rural America

BY: - March 3, 2021

On Feb. 23, Tom Vilsack was confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, again. In 2011, I helped write an op-ed called “What a good president would do — that would really help family farmers.” It stemmed from President Obama’s and then-Secretary Vilsack’s unsuccessful attempt to level the playing field and increase competition in agriculture. We […]

Environment group: Trump’s final year in office saw spike in farm subsidies

BY: - February 26, 2021

President Trump’s administration spent $20 billion on farm subsidies in its last year, four times the level at the beginning of his term, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group reported Wednesday. Much of that aid went to the largest farms, the group said. EWG analyzed U.S. Department of Agriculture data, which included a variety of temporary […]

U.S. Senate confirms Vilsack for a second stint as Agriculture secretary

BY: - February 23, 2021

WASHINGTON —The Senate on Tuesday in a 92-7 vote confirmed former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to run the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a second time. Vilsack, 70, also headed the $151 billion agency under the Obama administration, for eight years.  But he has garnered criticism from Black and minority farmers for his treatment of […]

U.S. Senate Agriculture panel approves Vilsack as Ag secretary in bipartisan vote

BY: - February 2, 2021

WASHINGTON —The Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved Tom Vilsack’s nomination to lead USDA, after a hearing in which Vilsack discussed climate change goals in farming, food insecurity, supply chain problems and inequalities faced by Black farmers. Vilsack, a former Iowa governor who also ran the Agriculture Department for eight years during the Obama […]

Ag nominee Vilsack battles skepticism from Black farmers ahead of confirmation hearing

BY: - February 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Tom Vilsack, the president’s pick to lead the Agriculture Department, will likely face questions about his treatment of Black farmers and his record on civil rights at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday. President Joe Biden’s decision to tap the former Iowa governor, who also served as USDA chief […]