Tom Vilsack, soon-to-be former president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and former Iowa governor, will once again lead the Department of Agriculture under soon-to-be President Joe Biden. He previously held the position of U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary for eight years under President Barack Obama. President-Elect Biden chose Vilsack so he can “hit the ground running.” Everything old will be new again.
“With an estimated one in six Americans and a quarter of U.S. children facing a hunger crisis, farmers reeling and rural communities struggling to weather the pain and economic fallout of the pandemic, Vilsack will bring the experience and bold thinking needed to deliver immediate relief to farmers, ranchers, producers and families all across the country,” President-Elect Biden said in a news release announcing the nomination. Vilsack represents rural America, has a deep knowledge of the department and he can hopefully fix what got broken the past four years. Oh, and by the way, he is one of the dairy industry’s biggest advocates.
During a packed general session at Dairy Forum 2017, soon after joining USDEC, Vilsack was asked about his favorite ice cream flavor. He responded, “How can you pick one? I love them all.” He went on to say that when given the choice between white and chocolate milk, hands down, he picks chocolate.