United Fresh’s Tom Stenzel Comments on Appointment of Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture

United Fresh’s Tom Stenzel Comments on Appointment of Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture

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WASHINGTON, DC - With the new year comes new changes and developments. One of those developments is the nomination of Tom Vilsack as President-Elect Joe Biden’s Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack previously served as USDA Secretary under the Obama Administration.

Tom Stenzel, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Fresh Produce Association“United Fresh is pleased to see Secretary Vilsack return to USDA,” said United Fresh Produce Association President and CEO Tom Stenzel in a press release supporting Biden’s announcement. “Under his steady leadership, we worked together to further the gains of the industry and broaden access to fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly for children. There is no shortage of issues to work on over the next four years—from trade to climate change.”

Vilsack served for eight years under President Obama at USDA and was previously the Governor of Iowa. During his tenure at USDA, he worked with United Fresh on a number of issues including the prioritization of good nutrition, aid to produce farmers and the supply chain, and ensuring that USDA worked with other federal agencies to harmonize their efforts to address issues relating to trade, food safety, and immigration, stated the press release. Most recently, Vilsack spoke to United Fresh members at the 2020 Washington Conference in September.

Tom Vilsack has been appointed by President-Elect Joe Biden to the position of Secretary of Agriculture

According to Politico, Vilsack’s previous experience running the department was instrumental in the decision behind the President-Elect’s nomination. Biden wanted someone who could immediately tackle the hunger and farm crises that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

While leading USDA, Vilsack focused on leveraging the $150 billion department’s mission beyond its traditional focus on farmers, delving deeper into other areas like rural development and nutrition programs that aid millions of low-income Americans. He also oversaw a major update to school nutrition standards that was spearheaded by then-first lady Michelle Obama, noted the news source.

“Given the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that we have experienced leaders who can hit the ground running to ensure that there is a seamless transition from the Trump administration to the Biden administration, including making sure that the supply chain is utilized to address the immense and immediate food insecurity needs being faced around the country—and there is no one more familiar with how to make USDA work for the American people than Tom Vilsack,” continued Stenzel.

We here at ANUK cannot wait to see how the industry continues to grow in the next year.

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United Fresh Produce Association

United Fresh Produce Association is the industry's leading trade association committed to driving the growth and…


The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing…