cows in field

Vilsack’s Checkoff Problem

By Clint Rainey

When Joe Biden nominated Tom Vilsack to run the Department of Agriculture late last year, the former Iowa governor had a somewhat paradoxical political liability. After eight years as Barack Obama’s agriculture secretary, Vilsack was easily the most qualified politician for the job — only one person in U.S. history has served longer as agriculture secretary. But that long tenure also meant that constituents who felt ignored could gather plenty of evidence to support their grievances.

This article is reprinted with permission from Food & Environment Reporting Network (FERN). The original article, which contains numerous electronic links not included in the print issue, can be found here.