Wouldn't it be great if President-elect Obama picked a qualified North Dakota Ag expert to serve as his Agriculture Secretary? A group of almost "90 notable figures in the world of sustainable agriculture and food sent a letter" to Barack Obama's transition team this week recommending 6 top agriculture experts to the position of Agriculture Secretary. Here's an excerpt from the letter:
From rising childhood and adult obesity to issues of food safety, global warming and air and water pollution, we believe our next Secretary of Agriculture must have a vision that calls for: recreating regional food systems, supporting the growth of humane, natural and organic farms, and protecting the environment, biodiversity and the health of our children while implementing policies that place conservation, soil health, animal welfare and worker’s rights as well as sustainable renewable energy near the top of their agenda.
The letter is signed by a bunch of chefs, farmers and animal welfare advocates.
Here's their list of six:
- Gus Schumacher, former Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services and former Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture.
- Chuck Hassebrook, executive director, Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons, Neb.
- Sarah Vogel, former Commissioner of Agriculture for North Dakota, lawyer, Bismarck, N.D.
- Fred Kirschenmann, organic farmer, distinguished fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Ames, Iowa, and president of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, NY.
- Mark Ritchie, Minnesota Secretary of State, former policy analyst in Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture under Governor Rudy Perpich, co-founder of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
- Neil Hamilton, Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and director of the Agricultural Law Center, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.
I think Sarah Vogel would make a great Ag Secretary.
(Hat tip to Carla and NY Times Diners Journal Blog)