July 23, 2014

U.S. Ag Secretary also looking forward to 4 more years

VilsackTom Vilsack will continue to serve as Secretary of Agriculture as President Obama begins his second term. Vilsack, a former Iowa Governor, says he’s very much looking forward to another four years of working for farmers and ranchers.

“I’m proud of a lot of stuff we’ve done and we’ve done it with less money and restructuring and reorganizing the department. I mean, it’s been an amazing four years,” Vilsack says. “I am just thankful we have more time because there’s more to do.”

Vilsack has repeatedly described being head of the U.S.D.A. as “the best job in the world.”

“I’m really proud of the work we’ve done in civil rights, ending cases that have been on file for years, decades,” Vilsack says. “I’m really proud of the fact that we have the lowest fraud rate in the SNAP program and the lowest error rate in the history of that program.” SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, often referred to as food stamps — a program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

As Obama’s second term starts, Vilsack will tackle some major unfinished business from the first — the failure of congress to pass a Farm Bill.

“I mean, look, everybody should be disappointed we don’t have a bill. It’s crazy we don’t have a bill. It really is. It’s nuts, but it does give us an opportunity to come together. It challenges our thinking and it challenges our approach and I think this is going to be — at the end of the day — it’s going to be a positive outcome if we make it that way.”

As 2012 drew to a close, congress passed a temporary extension of the current Farm Bill through September 30th. Vilsack made his comments during a press conference at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.