Obama Taps Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack as USDA Secretary

President-elect Barack Obama named Tom Vilsack the next U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary yesterday.

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama named Tom Vilsack the next U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary yesterday.

As the 30th head of the USDA, the former Iowa governor, 58, will replace Ed Schafer, who has held the position since Jan. 28. Vilsack comes to the USDA with experience as the former chief executive of Iowa, one of the nation’s top producers of soybeans, hogs and eggs. The state ranks second in crop value after California, according to government statistics.

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