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Feeding America: The Department Of Agriculture During The Biden Administration

Tom Vilsack speaks  after being nominated to be Agriculture Secretary by US President-elect Joe Biden, in Wilmington, Delaware.
Tom Vilsack speaks after being nominated to be Agriculture Secretary by US President-elect Joe Biden, in Wilmington, Delaware.

The Senate confirmed President Joe Biden’s pick for agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack. It’s not a new role for Vilsack, as he served as Secretary of Agriculture for eight years under former President Obama. Despite his experience, Vilsack will face several new challenges.

Black farmers aren’t sure Vilsack will help them address the issues they face. “Though USDA came to enjoy a reputation among policymakers and the press as a steady force for good in the lives of historically marginalized farmers, Vilsack and others in the department made cosmetic changes, and little else,” a 2019 report by The Counter, which looked into the USDA under the Obama administration, concluded. Plus, Vilsack will need to lead the Department of Agriculture in accordance with the Biden administration’s goal to fight climate change.

Keeping shelves stocked and keeping America fed has always been an important job, but as people stay home and stock up on groceries, how can the U.S. Department of Agriculture make sure America doesn’t go hungry?

Find our conversation from 2020 about the COVID-19 pandemic in meatpacking plants here.

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