|U.S. Secretary of Agriculture|
|February 3, 2009-Present|
|Years in position||6|
|Elections and appointments|
|Nominated||December 17, 2008|
|Confirmed||January 20, 2009|
|Appointed by||Barack Obama|
|Governor of Iowa|
|Iowa State Senator|
|Mayor of Mount Pleasant, Iowa|
|J.D.||Albany Law School|
|Date of birth||December 13, 1950|
|Place of birth||Pittsburgh, PA|
Vilsack was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in an orphanage before being adopted before he was one year old. He graduated from Hamilton College and earned his J.D. from Albany Law School before getting married and moving to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, his wife's hometown. He worked in a private law firm before starting his career in politics.
- 1972: Graduated from Hamilton College
- 1975: Earned J.D. from Albany Law School
- 1975-1998: Lawyer at private law practice
- 1987-1992: Mayor of Mount Pleasant, Iowa
- 1992-1999: State Senator in Iowa's 49th District
- 1999-2007: Governor of Iowa
- 2007: Dropped out of 2008 Presidential race
- 2007-2008: Managing Partner for international law firm Dorsey and Whitney
- 2009-Present: U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Agriculture term initiatives
The department announced on October 21, 2014, that a new farm bill provision providing drought affected farmers aid in certain states would be pushed ahead of its scheduled 2016 implementation. The provision allows farmers to drop production years that were below 50 percent of their county's Actual Production History (APH), which averages the past 10 years of crop production to determine crop insurance rates. After continuous droughts, the averages fall leaving farmers able to purchase less comprehensive coverage for their crop seasons. With the provision moved ahead of its scheduled implementation, farmers would be permitted to exempt certain years from their APH allowing them to purchase a higher amount of coverage for a higher premium fee.
When confronted about whether or not the action was political, having been announced less than two weeks prior to the 2014 elections and particularly affecting some federal battleground states, Vilsack responded, "The timing of it has nothing to do with the election. You’re suggesting its pressure and politics and it’s basically people doing their job and doing a helluva job above and beyond the call of duty. … Federal workers just never ever, ever get their due."
On February 5, 2014, the Obama administration announced the creation of seven "climate hubs" to be located in rural areas across the country. The hubs were formed in order to help rural farmers get the scientific information needed to properly handle extreme weather conditions such as droughts, blizzards and flooding. Hubs will be located in Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico. Vilsack explained the reasons for the hubs, stating, "USDA's climate hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate."
|U.S. Department of Agriculture Annual Budget|
|Year||Budget (in billions)||% Difference from previous year|
- Note: 2014 only represents the Department's budget request, not an enacted budget.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Tom + Vilsack + Secretary + Agriculture
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- Official biography
- Reuters, "Senate confirms Vilsack as agriculture secretary," January 20, 2009
- United States Department of Agriculture, "Secretary of Agriculture - Tom Vilsack," accessed December 26, 2013
- CNN, "Tom Vilsack Fast Facts," March 7, 2013
- Politico, "Farmers in battleground states get drought relief," October 21, 2014
- CNN, "U.S. sets up 'climate hubs' to help rural communities affected by extreme weather," February 5, 2014
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, "2014 Budget Summary and Annual Performance Plan," accessed February 7, 2014
- The Washington Post, "State of the Union: Tom Vilsack to serve as Cabinet's ‘designated survivor’," January 24, 2012
|U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
| Succeeded by|