Start getting your questions ready. On September 10th, our Department of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences will welcome Tom Vilsack to speak on “The role of public research universities in addressing international food security.”
We’d like to encourage folks to turn out for this event – and come prepared with some challenging questions. While over his time in the USDA Vilsack has made some encouraging gestures toward food justice (including acknowledging the history of institutionalized racism in the USDA), in other ways it’s clear that he’s firmly in the pocket of corporate agri-business.
A selection of his positions include:
• Opposition to the inclusion of sustainability considerations in the drafting of nutritional guidelines
• Playing polyanna on bird flu, and ignoring the systemic problems of this latest outbreak is but a symptom (while at the same time, recent reports suggest that under Vilsack’s watch, Cargill may be about to receive clearance to export poultry from China to the US)
• And in general and overall, consistently advocating for corporate agri-business, against science, against the environment, and against the people’s right to know what’s on their plates.
Get your questions ready, and hope to see you there!
Thursday, September 10, 2015
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. with a reception to follow
Alice Campbell Alumni Center, 601 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana
Tom Vilsack serves as the Nation’s 30th Secretary of Agriculture. As leader of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Vilsack is working hard to strengthen the American agricultural economy, build vibrant rural communities and create new markets for the tremendous innovation of rural America. In more than six years at the Department, Vilsack has worked to implement President Obama’s agenda to put Americans back to work and create an economy built to last. USDA has supported America’s farmers, ranchers and growers who are driving the rural economy forward, provided food assistance to millions of Americans, carried out record conservation efforts, made record investments in our rural communities and helped provide a safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply for the American people.
Prior to his appointment, Vilsack served two terms as the Governor of Iowa, in the Iowa State Senate and as the mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.