Vilsack Addresses AFBF Convention

Jamie JohansenAFBF, Ag Group, Government

Secretary of Agriculture Tom VilsackThis morning’s general session at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention featured a speech by our U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Yes, he spoke about the farm bill and the need for Congress to pass a new one. Interestingly, he also told us a personal story about being an orphan. Through his adopted father’s side of the family he’s three generations removed from the farm. It was an inspiring story which started with him trying to come up with a one word description of agriculture. He says that it was that great grandfather farmer who was successful enough to raise a family that included children who either farmed or became successful in other businesses. In his grandfather’s case it was the brewing business, then in his father’s case it was real estate and then he became an attorney and ultimately U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The word he came up with is Freedom. He drew applause during the telling of the story which obviously means a lot to him on a personal level.

You can listen to Secretary Vilsack’s speech here: [wpaudio url=”″ text=”Sec. Vilsack Speech”]

Immediately after his speech Sec. Vilsack spoke with the media and you can listen to it here: [wpaudio url=”″ text=”Sec. Vilsack Press Conference”] 2014 AFBF Convention Photos