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American Farmland Trust Lauds Nomination of Gov. Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture
Jennifer Morrill: 202-378-1255, jmorrill@farmland.org
Washington, D.C., December 17, 2008—American Farmland Trust (AFT) looks forward to the successful and speedy confirmation of former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture. “Governor Vilsack is a wise choice to lead USDA at a challenging, yet very exciting time in agriculture,” says Jon Scholl, President of AFT.

The United States and the world are faced with the pressing issue of climate change and a host of other environmental issues in which American agriculture must play a critical role as problem solver. Governor Vilsack's skills will be put to the test in trying to implement the farm bill amidst a global economic crisis that affects every corner of our nation, and every sector including agriculture. The new Secretary can count on AFT’s support as he addresses these issues.

Over the past three years, AFT has led a comprehensive campaign to strengthen American agriculture and expand the benefits of public policy. This work continues today through two campaigns: “Agriculture & Environment,” which helps farmers and ranchers improve water quality and combat climate change while maintaining a vibrant agriculture sector. “Growing Local” works to protect farms and farmland for our country’s future, recognizing that local farms and food are the cornerstone of healthy communities, and new markets for farmers and increased farm viability are critical.

“As Governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack was very supportive of agriculture and food policies that can be the basis of a bright future for U.S. agriculture. But he’s also a pragmatist who recognizes the importance of caring for natural resources,” says Scholl. “With over half of our nation’s land as working farm and ranch land, it’s a critical time to protect our country’s greatest working asset.  I know that Tom Vilsack and President-elect Obama agree on the important role for agriculture in solving some of the biggest farm, food, energy and climate challenges on our nation’s agenda.”



American Farmland Trust is the nation's leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save millions of acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more.

AFT's national office is located in Washington, DC. Phone: 202-331-7300. For more information, visit www.farmland.org.

American Farmland Trust