Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture

Tom Vilsack

Secretary of Agriculture

Thomas James Vilsack was born in December 1950 in a Roman Catholic orphanage in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was adopted early the next year. He earned an undergraduate degree from Hamilton College and a Juris Doctor from Albany Law School.

He served six years as the Mayor of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, then six more years as a member of the Iowa Senate. For eight years after that, he was the Governor of Iowa.

He was an early candidate in the 2008 U.S. presidential election but dropped out after three months citing monetary constraints. He was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the Secretary of Agriculture. He was confirmed by the unanimous consent of the Senate and assumed office in January 2009. After his full-term tenure expired, he became President and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

He was nominated by President Joe Biden to be Secretary of Agriculture, and was confirmed by the Senate by a 92-7 vote. He assumed office in February 2021.

Vilsack is married to Ann Christine “Christie” Bell, and they have two sons.

In the News…

Stronger protections for farmers navigating growing climate-related risks are needed, Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of Agriculture said. A drought gripping the Western U.S. has revealed that need, he said.

Since assuming leadership of the USDA this year, Secretary Vilsack has urged lawmakers to redesign farm support systems and disaster programs to help farmers cope with harsher and longer-lasting weather calamities. He said the economic scars left by droughts and other disasters can linger for years.

“Many of these areas have embraced a 50 to 100-year event in the last five to ten years,” Secretary Vilsack told the Global Food Forum.

According to federal data, America’s agricultural producers are experiencing conditions that are on pace to be the most severe to hit in the southwestern United States. 

Contact this Leader…

Did you pray for Secretary Vilsack today? You can let him know at:

The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1280 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20250


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