Dec 15, 2020
Vilsack ‘knows the importance of clear and consistent organic standards’ : OTA

The Organic Trade Association last week released a statement on the reported choice of former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President-elect Joe Biden.

According to widespread reports, Biden will nominate Vilsack, who was the Secretary of Agriculture during both of Barack Obama’s terms from 2009-2017.

Here is the association’s statement:

The Organic Trade Association looks forward to working again with Tom Vilsack as U.S. Agriculture Secretary. Mr. Vilsack understands the importance and great potential of the American organic sector. As Agriculture Secretary in the Obama administration, he recognized the organic industry for “creating important opportunities for farmers and ranchers and adding to the vibrancy of rural America” and oversaw a period of unprecedented growth for organic farmers and businesses. He knows the importance of clear and consistent organic standards, and the responsibility of the USDA to support the unique public-private partnership that has made the organic sector successful.

Our country is facing deep challenges. We need a food system that recognizes the needs of all farmers, eaters and workers; a food system that recognizes the role that agriculture can play in helping to mitigate climate change. It is imperative that the incoming administration look to the future. We anticipate working with Mr. Vilsack to amplify organic’s voice in these critical issues.

Organic has made great strides since the enactment of the Organic Foods Production Act 30 years ago, and has always been at the forefront of transparency and sustainability in food systems. But there is still much room for improvement. The sector needs partners in government to help advance organic standards, and to help fulfill the promise of a fair resilient food system. The Organic Trade Association looks forward to working with Mr. Vilsack to reinvest in organic agriculture and move our nation toward economic stability for farmers and rural communities, improve access to healthy food and foster a more climate-friendly system of farming. We are eager to work together with Mr. Vilsack to address the challenges facing all of food and agriculture.

The Organic Trade Association added that it previously released a memo on organic policies to Biden-Harris transition team.

Above, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks in Brighton, CO during 2016 about a water conservation project. Photo: USDA/Patti Finke.

Tom Vilsack, the once and future US secretary of ag


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