WASHINGTON — The Senate voted 92 to 7 on Feb. 23 to confirm Tom Vilsack as the new secretary of agriculture.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us to contain the pandemic, transform America’s food system, create fairer markets for producers, ensure equity and root out systemic barriers, develop new income opportunities with climate smart practices, increase access to healthy and nutritious food, and make historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy in rural America,” Mr. Vilsack said.

The National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and US Wheat Associates (USW) voiced their support for the confirmation.

“We welcome Secretary Vilsack’s return to USDA in a year that is projected to see record US agricultural exports,” said Vince Peterson, USW president, who currently serves on the USDA Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade. “We look forward to working with him again to continue building on the successful export market development partnership between US wheat farmers and USDA.”

Chandler Goule, chief executive officer of NAWG, said, “NAWG applauds the Senate for its timely consideration and strong bipartisan support for confirming Secretary Vilsack to lead the USDA once again. Like many farmers across the country, wheat growers are facing economic challenges, and we are pleased to see the Senate and president work to fill these leadership positions at the USDA with qualified candidates, so we can continue to work on policy that benefits rural America. Secretary Vilsack is uniquely qualified to head up the USDA, having served there previously, and has an exceptional understanding of agricultural and rural issues. We look forward to working with him and continuing to build our relationship with the USDA.”