Following Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's Monday announcement that he would return in his position for a second Obama term, several ag groups supported the appointment.
National Corn Growers President Pam Johnson congratulated the Secretary on a successful first four years, and added that he has been a "steadfast advocate for American agriculture who has looked for positive solutions during difficult times."
In her statement, Johnson mentioned Vilsack's response to the historic drought and efforts to pass a farm bill.
NCGA has worked closely with Secretary Vilsack on issues important to corn growers, including global trade, conservation and renewable energy. NCGA, as part of Commodity Classic, has also welcomed the secretary as a keynote speaker for the past three conventions.
Ethanol groups pleased
Rick Schwarck, president of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, said his organization was excited to have an Iowan serve as Secretary.
"[Vilsack] knows first-hand about agriculture and renewable fuels leading the USDA. Vilsack is a steadfast supporter of the Renewable Fuels Standard and a great advocate for rural America. As such, we thank Secretary Vilsack for his willingness to serve and commend President Obama for keeping a strong leader at USDA during this critical time," Schwarck said in a statement.
Growth Energy also supported Vilsack's announcement due to his support of the renewable fuels industry and rural interests.
" I am confident that Secretary Vilsack will build upon his excellent service record supporting renewable fuels and economic growth across rural America. I know that during his tenure he will continue his strong advocacy for biofuels increased market access for higher ethanol blends such as E15," Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said. "Additionally, Secretary Vilsack has always been a leading voice in supporting rural America and its potential to provide clean, renewable fuel that helps create jobs and revitalize rural economies."
Buis said he was looking forward to working with Vilsack to advance renewable fuels.
Vilsack, an Iowa Democrat, confirmed his appointment on Monday, pledging continued action on the Food, Farm and Jobs Bill and rural growth.