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 must oppose Tom Vilsack’s nomination as secretary of agriculture.

This letter was submitted on Feb. 21. Vilsack was confirmed on Feb. 23.

Manny Santiago

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