WASHINGTON – During his confirmation hearing last Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary nominee Tom Vilsack addressed climate change, food insecurity and economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vilsack is one step closer to leading USDA, a role he held for eight years during the Obama Administration.

“I’m back again. I also realize this is a different time and I am a different person and it is a different department. I think we have to recognize that going forward,” he said during his opening remarks.

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith expressed her support for Vilsack. She emphasized the importance of the role, calling agriculture the foundation of the Minnesota economy.

“He really understands the challenges that farmers and ranchers have been facing over the last few years with trade disruptions and low prices, and then the challenges with COVID. But he also really will seize the opportunity to move agriculture forward.”