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Vilsack sails through hearing

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Barack Obama's choice for agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, is expected be confirmed next week.
Barack Obama's choice for agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, is expected be confirmed next week.

Former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack went through a smooth confirmation hearing today in front of the Senate's agriculture committee, which should lead the way to an easy confirmation as agriculture secretary next week.

In the hearing, Vilsack said that as secretary he would help look into alternative sources of income for farmers including wind power, and would pursue additional sources for biofuel.

Perhaps marking what would be a shift in the industry, Vilsack said he intends to seek advancements in alternative fuels for the farm industry and improve on environmental initiatives.

"I will work with you to expand opportunities for farmers, ranchers and rural communities to promote renewable energy technologies like biofuels, wind, solar and geothermal, and to deliver environmental benefits like clean air, clean water, and fish and wildlife habitat," Vilsack told the members of Congress.

Vilsack also pledged to the committee that he would work to support the agriculture community of the entire country and not focus solely on the Midwest, despite his Iowa background.

It is expected that Vilsack will receive unanimous approval from the agriculture committee next Tuesday in what is likely to be one of the first confirmations for members of President-elect Barack Obama's cabinet.ADNFCR-2034-ID-18976515-ADNFCR

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