January 30, 2023
For Immediate Release
Contact: Laura Zaks
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Underscores Commitment to Transforming the Nation’s Food and Farm System
Washington, DC, January 30, 2023 – Today, United States Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack addressed the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) at its annual winter member meeting in Washington, DC. Secretary Vilsack discussed USDA’s vision and efforts under the Biden-Harris Administration to create an economy where the wealth and opportunities created in rural America stay there and where a transformed food system helps to create new and better markets and more resilient farms and ranches.
“A historic opportunity exists for American agriculture and rural America to transform the nation’s food and agricultural system from one that benefits a few to one that benefits the many,” Secretary Vilsack told the group of more than 100 NSAC members and staff from around the country, adding “we have had too much division in this country from my perspective. This is an opportunity to reflect on the power of community to help folks.”
The Secretary then used a whiteboard to demonstrate how, through transformational achievements like the American Rescue Plan Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the Inflation Reduction Act, USDA is acting on its vision and seeking to build out a broader suite of market opportunities for producers.
Secretary Vilsack referenced Lincoln’s establishment of USDA in 1862: “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.” Vilsack drew a comparison to today’s circumstances following the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the impacts of climate change on the American farm and food system.
“Federal policy defines our food and farm system, impacting farming and community livelihoods, the natural environment, and more. Today, Secretary Vilsack outlined a forward-thinking vision of federal agriculture policy rooted in addressing many of the challenges facing farmers today, not the past. As a leading advocate for family farmers and sustainable agriculture, our coalition will continue to work to ensure that federal policy levels the playing field for small- and medium-sized farms, advances racial equity, builds a climate-resilient future, and invests in local and regional economic development,” said Mike Lavender, NSAC Policy Director.
The Secretary’s remarks come at a pivotal moment for the sustainable agriculture movement as the 2023 Farm Bill reauthorization process is underway. NSAC’s recently released 2023 Farm Bill Platform offers a comprehensive, member-driven vision for a more sustainable farm and food system informed by the expert analysis and experience of farmers, ranchers, and food system stakeholders nationwide.
About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more and get involved at: https://sustainableagriculture.net
Categories: Press Releases