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AGRICULTURE & PEOPLE: U.S. environment, farm and biotech groups praise Vilsack nomination



                                  PART 1


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TITLE:  SIERRA CLUB PRAISES SALAZAR, VILSACK NOMINATIONS

SOURCE: Sierra Club, USA

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://action.sierraclub.org/site/MessageViewer?em_id=82881.0

DATE:   17.12.2008

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SIERRA CLUB PRAISES SALAZAR, VILSACK NOMINATIONS

Washington, D.C.?President-Elect Barack Obama today formally announced the nominations of Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado for Secretary of the Interior and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture.

Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director

[...]

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture:

?The Sierra Club congratulates Governor Vilsack on his appointment to head the Department of Agriculture. We look forward to working with him in this new role. With a Secretary Vilsack overseeing the National Forest System and the Conservation Reserve Program, we are optimistic that USDA can once again become a responsible steward of wilderness and vital habitat for wildlife.

?Governor Vilsack can play an important role in helping to bring about the clean energy economy in a way that benefits both farmers and rural communities and our environment. The USDA can take the lead in moving us past the corn-based ethanol of today toward the next-generation biofuels of tomorrow. These next-generation biofuels will not just provide farmers with new sources of income and help us break our dangerous dependence on oil, but they will also help President-Elect Obama achieve his ambitious plans to tackle global warming.?



                                  PART 2

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TITLE:  EDF PRAISES CHOICE OF VILSACK AS SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

SOURCE: Environmental Defense Fund, USA

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.edf.org/pressrelease.cfm?contentID=8977

DATE:   17.12.2008

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EDF PRAISES CHOICE OF VILSACK AS SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

Washington, D.C. ? December 17, 2008 ? Former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack is a solid choice for America?s next Secretary of Agriculture, according to Environmental Defense Fund.

?Governor Vilsack recognizes that farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have an important role to play in combating climate change,? said Robert Bonnie, Vice President of Land, Water and Wildlife for Environmental Defense Fund. ?He is a strong supporter of a cap and trade program for greenhouse gases, carbon offsets, and other measures to help stop global warming. We think he?ll be a great addition to the Obama Administration?s environmental team.?

Environmental Defense Fund also praised Vilsack for his devotion to environmentally beneficial farm policy programs.

?Governor Vilsack has a long history of supporting voluntary conservation programs focused on working agricultural lands, and he has advocated for sensible farm policy reforms.? said Sara Hopper, Agricultural Policy Director for Environmental Defense Fund. ?He understands the importance of cooperating with private landowners to ensure that we address our most pressing environmental challenges.?

Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental 



                                  PART 3

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TITLE:  STATEMENT BY BOB STALLMAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION, REGARDING VILSACK AND SALAZAR NOMINATIONS

SOURCE: American Farm Bureau, USA

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.fb.org/index.php?fuseaction=newsroom.newsfocus&year=2008&file=nr1217.html

DATE:   17.12.2008

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STATEMENT BY BOB STALLMAN, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION, REGARDING VILSACK AND SALAZAR NOMINATIONS

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 17, 2008 ? ?We congratulate both former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack on his nomination as secretary of Agriculture and Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) on his nomination as secretary of Interior. Both men have demonstrated experienced, steady judgment when it comes to working on agriculture-related issues.

?During his tenure as Iowa?s governor, one of the nation?s top agriculture-producing states, Gov. Vilsack was an ardent supporter of furthering the use of renewable fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel and wind, as well as an advocate for biotechnology. He has been a strong proponent of international trade and expanding our export markets. His understanding and experience with many of the pressing issues facing agriculture today will serve him well in his new position.

?Sen. Salazar, is also uniquely qualified and experienced to serve as secretary of the Interior. He serves on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and has been a strong proponent of expanding the development of renewable fuels. He is a recipient of the Friend of Farm Bureau award for his many pro-agriculture efforts and his life-long experience as a farmer will serve him well in addressing the concerns of agriculture.

?We look forward to working with both Gov. Vilsack and Sen. Salazar, as well as their respective agencies to carry-out the programs and policies that will benefit America?s farmers and ranchers and rural America.?



                                  PART 4

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TITLE:  ASA SUPPORTS IOWA?S TOM VILSACK AS U.S. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

SOURCE: American Soybean Association, USA

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.soygrowers.com/newsroom/releases/2008_releases/r121708.htm

DATE:   17.12.2008

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ASA SUPPORTS IOWA?S TOM VILSACK AS U.S. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

December 17, 2008?St. Louis, Missouri? The American Soybean Association (ASA) today applauded the nomination of former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack as the nation?s 30th Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack is the first Iowan chosen for the key Cabinet post since Henry A. Wallace, a noted farm editor and agriculturalist, was named to the post in 1933.

?ASA is delighted with President-Elect Obama?s choice of Governor Vilsack,? said ASA Chairman John Hoffman, a soybean producer from Waterloo, Iowa. ?As Governor, he was an early and strong advocate for renewable fuels, including soy biodiesel, as well as biotechnology, which is so important to modern agriculture.?

Hoffman points out that Governor Vilsack is very knowledgeable about agriculture, including the role that farm programs play in the livelihoods of producers of soybeans and other commodities. Hoffman and the leadership of the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) worked closely with Governor Vilsack during his eight years as chief executive of one of the nation?s leading agricultural states.

?Coming from an ag state that is number one in soybeans, corn, pork, turkey and egg production, Tom Vilsack recognizes the importance of agriculture on the U.S. economy,? Hoffman said. ?As ISA President, I met with Governor Vilsack numerous times and found him to be responsive to the concerns of soybean farmers, and I fully expect as Secretary of Agriculture he will be an excellent spokesperson for U.S. agriculture.?

As Iowa governor, Vilsack worked to balance the competing needs of high-tech agriculture with environmental and consumer interests. He was co-founder of the Governors Biotechnology Partnership, and a strong supporter of renewable fuels mandates and their importance to the economic viability of rural America. Vilsack participated in missions with ISA leaders promoting exports of Iowa ag products. Hoffman said Vilsack understands the value of ag exports and believes he will be a strong advocate for fair trade agreements within Obama Administration.

?Tom Vilsack understands the importance of NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) programs that help producers protect our natural resources and provide stewardship of the land we all depend upon for our food production,? Hoffman said. ?As governor, he was very supportive of ISA environmental and conservation initiatives, and saw the value of biotechnology and its importance in meeting future demands while protecting our natural resources.?

ASA points out that Vilsack?s familiarity with the diversity of Iowa agriculture will serve him well in his new role as Secretary of Agriculture. He was especially supportive of bringing young and beginning farmers into production agriculture.

Vilsack entered politics in the small rural town of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where he was elected to the town council. After serving as mayor from 1987-1992, he was elected to the state senate, and then served as Governor 1999-2007. He was one of Iowa?s most popular governors, and made a brief run for the Democratic nomination for President after leaving office in 2007.

ASA joins other commodity organizations in calling for the U.S. Senate to swiftly confirm Governor Vilsack when his name is officially submitted in January.



                                  PART 5

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TITLE:  BIO APPLAUDS SELECTION OF TOM VILSACK TO BE AG SECRETARY

SOURCE: Biotechnology Industry Organization, USA

AUTHOR: Press Release

URL:    http://www.bio.org/news/pressreleases/newsitem.asp?id=2008_1217_02

DATE:   17.12.2008

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BIO APPLAUDS SELECTION OF TOM VILSACK TO BE AG SECRETARY

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, December 17, 2008) - President-elect Barack Obama announced today the nomination of former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack to be U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement in support of the nomination:

?BIO and its member companies applaud President-elect Obama?s choice of Governor Vilsack to be our Secretary of Agriculture.

?Having lived and governed in America?s heartland, Vilsack is a staunch supporter of our nations? farmers and ranchers, and of the many companies and organizations who work in partnership with them. He is deeply experienced in addressing the many challenges facing our world today, such as the growing need for a sustainable food and fuel supply.

?It?s important to note that former Governor Vilsack is a past recipient of BIO?s Governor of the Year award for his support of the industry?s economic growth and agricultural biotechnology research. As governor, he helped charter BIOWA ? a group designed to foster the deployment of advanced biorefineries and supporting facilities and to create green jobs.

?Vilsack is keenly aware of the benefits of agricultural biotechnology and the role that science and innovation can play in helping farmers grow more food in a more environmentally friendly manner. He is a strong proponent of ethanol production, and we are confident he will work to further diversify our nation?s biofuels supply. He also knows the importance helping to build biobased business models that use biomass as a feedstock to make green plastics and renewable chemical platforms. In addition, Governor Vilsack recognizes the opportunities that can be realized with an increased focus on research and development in our agricultural sector.

?BIO and our member companies are excited at what the future holds, and we urge the Senate to quickly confirm Tom Vilsack. We look forward to working with him to enhance our regulatory system, manage our trade environment and further invest in agricultural research so we can further provide a sustainable supply of food, feed, fuel, fiber to our American consumers and those around the world.?


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