Tom Vilsack

Is it time for Midwest exports to Cuba?

Feb 22, 2015

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says it’s time for the U.S. to engage with Cuban markets. But some Republican leaders remain skeptical.

Vilsack, who was in metro Kansas City on Tuesday, says increasing U.S. exports to Cuba could help Midwest farmers.

“The reality is we used to do roughly $600 million of business in that country. It’s about a $1.7 billion dollar market. Wheat is certainly one area, poultry is another area, soybeans is another area.”


The U.S. Department of Agriculture isn’t just for farmers. It also supports school lunches, broadband internet access in rural areas, and inner-city farmers markets. As Harvest Public Media’s Amy Mayer reports, that diverse mandate fits with the man running it all, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who’s now been on that job longer than anyone since the Nixon administration.

Transcript of audio story:

Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

The average age of American farmers has been climbing for decades, and many say rural towns are at-risk without new blood. There are enough people who want to farm, but there’s trouble connecting beginning farmers and the communities that need them.

Vilsack to China: Get up to speed on GMOs

Dec 18, 2013

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to China this week to ask Chinese regulators to get on the same page as the U.S. when it comes to evaluating genetically modified crops.

The Farm Bill: Everybody has an Opinion

Jul 23, 2013

The farm bill is fraught with opposition.  Some want the bill to stay intact, some want nutrition separated, some want stricter requirements to obtain nutrition assistance, and one blogger wonders if misperception is what’s driving the SNAP debate.