FarmPolicy

July 24, 2014

Sec. Vilsack- Trade; Climate Issues; and Crop Insurance

Sec. Vilsack- USDA Perceptions

DTN editor-in-chief Urban C. Lehner noted on Friday that, “Our agriculture secretary has been taking verbal abuse from all directions. When he defended transgenic seeds before a crowd of local-food activists last October, they booed him. When he included organic and local-food speakers at USDA’s annual Outlook meeting in late February, the traditional production-ag types acted as if USDA had been taken over by aliens.”

Unlike his critics in the alternative-ag community, he understands that feeding a growing world population will require increases in agricultural productivity that going local and going organic won’t provide. Unlike his traditional-ag critics, he realizes that agriculture has a role to play in preserving the environment, and to play it well will require adopting the best ideas from a variety of agricultural approaches, including the local and organic movements.

“‘I have two sons, and I love them both,’ Vilsack has said of the competing schools of how agriculture should be practiced.”

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