Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently released a statement to the Farm Bureau Federation urging farmers to support the confirmation of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.
With the Obama Administration looking to transition into its second term, it is looking for replacements for outgoing and retiring cabinet level officials. Former Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, for example, recently replaced retiring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Looking to replace Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense, President Obama tapped former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel. While Hagel has encountered resistance from many Republican Senators, he has gained Secretary Vilsack as a vocal advocate.
In particular, Vilsack has argued that Hagel has supported encouraging the military to increase its use of renewable fuels.
“Let me tell you why I want Chuck Hagel,” Vilsack said. “He is from Nebraska, he understands the biobased economy. He would be a secretary of Defense who could champion the biobased economy.”
While advocating for Defense Secretaries may not seem the typical purview to the Agriculture Secretary, Vilsack’s advocacy is part of his effort to increase the political clout of the farm sector by building strategic alliances.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer