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Tom Vilsack’s Final Day As Secretary of Agriculture

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WASHINGTON, DC  —  Tom Vilsack made a surprise post on the USDA website Friday: it would be his final day as US Secretary of Agriculture.

The former Iowa governor is stepping down one week before the end of his term.  President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn into office on Friday, January 20th and his administration will take over.

Trump still has not named a Secretary of Agriculture nominee.  Vilsack was the final original member of President Obama’s cabinet still serving the administration.  He will be replaced by Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse for the next week, at least.

In a letter to USDA employees, posted on the department’s website, Vilsack thanked each of them for everything they do everyday to feed and protect the American people.

The letter reads in part:

“Your work allows America to have the most productive farmers, ranchers, and producers in the world. Your work protects our families from unsafe food and our homes from dangerous forest fires. Your work ensures that struggling families have enough to eat and our school children have more nutritious meals and snacks. Your work protects our soil and water and creates new products in labs and universities that improve our quality of life. Your work reflects the compassion of our country for those in need in other countries. Your work supports the creation of new businesses and guarantees that communities large and small are great places to live, work, and raise families. Your work inspires people all over America to buy local and support agriculture regardless of size or method of production. Your work fights against the destruction of invasive species and diseases while insuring against losses that occur when storms, droughts, and floods occur.”

Vilsack will reportedly take a position with the US Dairy Export Council.