With the election of Barack Obama, America’s new buzzwords are “hope” and “change” and it’s catching on. It’s out with the old way of thinking and in with the new.
Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has heard the message loud and clear. Here’s been on a tear lately, spearheading reforms in America’s farming.
A staunch supporter of local farming and farmer’s right, Vilsack is sending a message to the “business as usual” crowd, times are changing. The Rodale Institute bullet his recent maneuvers:
- February 5: Wants to expand farmers’ opportunities in energy and organic and whole foods.
- February 21: Addresses 300 farmers and agriculture professionals outside Washington, sending a message that USDA is serious about civil rights issues.
- February 24: Organic food advocate Kathleen Merrigan appointed deputy secretary of the USDA.
- February 25: Vilsack scorns wealthy agri-business powers, like corn and wheat, by not attending the 2009 Commodity Classic in Texas.
- February 26: Cuts U.S. farm commodity payments directed at farmers and ranchers with large incomes and big sales.
In an era of big business, big spending and big lobbying, it’s encouraging to see someone looking to change all that. Too often the little guy, or little farmer, gets lost in the fray.
You can go organic and local all by yourself, join a Community Supported Agriculture.