President Joe Biden’s nominee for Agriculture Secretary holds some of the same goals as the American Farm Bureau Federation. Micheal Clements shares what issues the administration will tackle.
Clements: Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall spoke with Agriculture Secretary-designate Tom Vilsack ahead of his confirmation hearing this week. Duvall says they spoke about a variety of issues, including the freezing of the COVID-19 relief package for farmers.
Duvall: He said the review of the COVID relief would not take long at all. We also talked about the labor issue that we faced on-farm for decades now needs reformed. He agreed that it is time to get that done. You can’t talk about this new administration without talking about their approach on climate. So, I expressed to him that we had done a lot of work in the last two years to talk about voluntary and market-based climate policies and how we do that to help farmers adapt to continuing to be part of the solution to our climate problems.
Clements: Duvall says they also discussed the importance of having enough funding for the Commodity Credit Corporation.
Duvall: Being Secretary in the past for eight years, he understands the value of the CCC. And I expressed to him that we were very interested in being able to increase that to make sure he had enough borrowing authority to fill the needs of the administration and the farmers. And he also committed to the farm programs and how important they are to farmers.
Clements: Duvall adds it’s important that Farm Bureau and the administration work together to advance the priorities of agriculture.
Duvall: To accomplish anything, you got to work together. Mr. Vilsack’s been there before, we already have a working relationship with him, and he’s going to pick up the reins at USDA and hit the ground running. And we look forward to helping him solve a lot of the big issues that are facing agriculture.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.
Read AFBF President Zippy Duvall's previous statement on the nomination of Tom Vilsack to serve as Secretary of Agriculture here.