Tom Vilsack’s nomination as secretary of agriculture does not belong within Joe Biden’s progressive agenda.

Vilsack has served as governor of Iowa, secretary of agriculture under President Obama, and chief lobbyist for the dairy industry. His candidacy is opposed by a vast coalition of small and minority farmers, as well as consumer, labor and environmental advocates. Here’s why:

He presided over consolidation of Big Ag to take unfair advantage of small farmers

He failed to protect minority farmers and farm workers from exploitation by Big Ag

He supported location of highly polluting factory farms in minority communities

He promoted approval of numerous genetically modified food products

He allowed meatpacking employees to replace government food safety inspectors

He serves as a highly paid lobbyist for the dairy industry, a significant factor in the climate crisis

He failed to lead our nation’s transition from a meat and fat-laden diet to a healthy, eco-friendly diet of vegetables, fruits, and grains

Even in crass political terms, he failed to deliver the Iowa caucuses to the Biden candidacy and the rural vote to the Biden presidency.

Our senators should have opposed Tom Vilsack’s nomination as secretary of agriculture.

Sincerely,

KASPER SWEITZER

Keene