Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has appeared at every Commodity Classic since he was confirmed, making this year the seventh time he has addressed corn, soybean, sorghum and wheat farmers.
“Farmers are the linchpin of this country. They are the heart and soul,” said Vilsack, who concentrated much of his remarks on the importance of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) for agriculture. “I’m here today as a strong, unapologetic proponent for the Trans Pacific Partnership,” he said to applause. “It’s going to increase farm income by 4.4 billion dollars.”
Vilsack also talked about the need for Congress to address the GMO food labeling issue immediately, and says he prefers the “Smart Label” approach. “It gives you the flexibility to adjust as circumstances change and consumers demand more information,” he said, stressing “unequivocally” that GMO foods are safe “and we need to make that clear to the consuming public.”
Listen to Vilsack’s comments here: [wpaudio url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/zimmcomm/classic-16-vilsack-address.mp3″ text=”Secretary Vilsack at #Classic16″]
Vilsack also had a press conference, where he spoke about many of these issues with members of the press. Listen to the full press conference here:
[wpaudio url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/zimmcomm/classic16-press-vilsack.mp3″ text=”Press Conference with Secretary Vilsack”]