I'll admit, I was skeptical when Tom Vilsack was appointed US Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack's entire political career had been from the heart of the corn belt. He's a noted supporter of corn-based ethanol. In short, he seemed like another Big-Ag shill who had taken over the chief role in US farm policy.
It appears I was wrong.
While I wouldn't say that Vilsack is anti-big agriculture, he's done a lot of work promoting farmer's markets, and other activities that I do support, including the USDA's new "Know Your Farmer" campaign, which provides support to small-scale local farmers, and even talks about the health importance of a diet based more around fresh fruits and vegetables and meats than the processed fare that many Americans, especially lower-income families, live on today.
Now, I'm still not a supporter of this administration. I think that the USDA needs to do more to revamp the agricultural system, but the work that is being done to encourage the development of local and regional food systems is exciting, and needs to be encouraged.