Jerry Kozak, president and chief executive officer of the National Milk Producers Federation, issued the following statement in response to reports that former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is the Obama Administration’s choice for Agriculture Secretary:
“After serving as Iowa’s governor for eight years, Tom Vilsack clearly has the managerial skills necessary to run a large, complex agency, like the Department of Agriculture.
“More importantly, because of the diversity of agriculture in Iowa, former governor Vilsack has had direct exposure to the policies and politics of many of the issues that he’ll be faced with in the coming years. These include balancing competing needs in the areas of farm program payments, environmental regulations, renewable fuels mandates, trade policy, and more.
“NMPF looks forward to working with Gov. Vilsack and the new team he assembles at USDA. Agriculture is not immune to the recession hurting the global economy, and there will be many challenges, economic and otherwise, facing USDA’s leaders starting right away in 2009,” says Kozak.

National Milk Producers Federation