Top 58 Tom Vilsack Quotes of 2020

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“In the past 40 years, the United States lost more than a million farmers and ranchers. Many of our farmers are aging. Today, only nine percent of family farm income comes from farming, and more and more of our farmers are looking elsewhere for their primary source of income.”

― Tom Vilsack

“The lack of access to proper nutrition is not only fueling obesity, it is leading to food insecurity and hunger among our children.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity. If people are able to buy a little more in the grocery store, someone has to stock it, package it, shelve it, process it, ship it. All of those are jobs. It’s the most direct stimulus you can get in the economy during these tough times.”

― Tom Vilsack

“I wish I could give you all the examples over the last two years as secretary of agriculture, where I hear people in rural America constantly being criticized, without any expression of appreciation for what they do do.”

― Tom Vilsack

“To amplify our efforts, USDA is joining with First Lady Michelle Obama in aggressively promoting the ‘Let’s Move’ campaign, which will combat the epidemic of childhood obesity through a comprehensive approach that builds on effective strategies, and mobilizes public and private sector resources.”

― Tom Vilsack

“The rise of childhood obesity has placed the health of an entire generation at risk.”

― Tom Vilsack

“I don’t care what anybody says: Nothing is better than a tomato you grow. There’s something about it that’s different than a tomato you can buy. It’s a great thing.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Quality, affordable housing is a key element of a strong and secure Iowa.”

― Tom Vilsack

“If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it.”

― Tom Vilsack

“You know, rural Americans are a special people. Their labor puts food on our table and fuel in our gas tanks. Their service in our military sets a powerful example of leadership, honor and sacrifice. Their spirit of community inspires us all.”

― Tom Vilsack

“President Obama has expressed his commitment to responsible stewardship of our land, water, and other natural resources. And one way of restoring the land to its natural condition is what we are doing here today – breaking pavement for the People’s Garden.”

― Tom Vilsack

“To keep farmers on the farm we must maintain a strong farm safety net, but we will also have to build a thriving companion economy to compliment production agriculture in rural America.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Let us tackle the big issues with bold ideas that transform Iowa to accomplish our shared mission to grow Iowa, and realize our shared vision of Iowa as the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Technology has allowed us to have more drought-resistant crops. The spotty nature of drought, the spotty nature of rains can sometimes result in better yields than anticipated.”

― Tom Vilsack

“At President Obama’s direction, the U.S Department of Agriculture is working hard to unleash the power of America’s innovators and entrepreneurs to build a green energy economy.”

― Tom Vilsack

“One out of every 12 jobs in the economy is connected in some way, shape or form to what happens on the farm.”

― Tom Vilsack

“In his first year in office, President Obama pulled us back from the brink of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression and worked to lay a new foundation for economic growth. The president identified three key strategies to build that lasting prosperity: innovation, investment, and education.”

― Tom Vilsack

“The future of healthcare security should include flexibility from the federal government to allow us to serve the state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

― Tom Vilsack

“My friends, history, history calls us to this time and to this place. A solemn choice rests with us – where do we go from here? Do we move slowly and incrementally? Or do we seize the challenge of our time and tackle the great issues of our day.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Now our job, our duty, our responsibility to ensure the safety and security of our citizens cannot be complete unless we guarantee health care security for our citizens.”

― Tom Vilsack

“We have a long tradition in this state of caring for our neighbors – it is truly an Iowa value.”

― Tom Vilsack

“People don’t understand rural America. Sixteen percent of our population is rural, but 40 percent of our military is rural. I don’t believe that’s because of a lack of opportunity in rural America. I believe that’s because if you grow up in rural America, you know you can’t just keep taking from the land. You’ve got to give something back.”

― Tom Vilsack

“When you’ve paid your debt to society, you need to be reconnected and re-engaged in society.”

― Tom Vilsack

“I don’t think the face of the Democratic Party is Nancy Pelosi.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Many young and beginning farmers start out in local markets. Some stay there, and some scale up.”

― Tom Vilsack

“In 2011, agricultural exports hit a record high and producers saw their best incomes in nearly 40 years.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Local and regional food systems are about opportunity.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Although they are some of the hardest working folks I know, rural Americans earn, on average, $11,000 less than their urban counterparts each year. And they are more likely to live in poverty.”

― Tom Vilsack

“There is more potential for economic growth in rural America than at any time in decades.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Proper school nutrition must be complemented by activities outside of the cafeteria. The decisions parents make to keep their kids healthy are critical in fighting this battle on the home front.”

― Tom Vilsack

“We’re going to move from a commodity economy where you basically grow the same kind of crops – where a kernel of corn is a kernel of corn is a kernel of corn – to an ingredient economy where there will be a kernel of corn that will be designed for fuel, there will be a kernel of corn designed for livestock.”

― Tom Vilsack

“There are a lot of farmers and ranchers who are struggling. I get on my knees every day. If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it.”

― Tom Vilsack

“What Republicans have done in my view is that they are systematically dismantling a sense of community in America.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Democrats have always historically referred to our families as working families, and I have sort of changed that moniker. I think what we have is a nation of worried families – families that are concerned about job security, families who thought their pensions were secure and now have questions.”

― Tom Vilsack

“I think we all share the same goal, which is a United States of America that inspires people and leads.”

― Tom Vilsack

“I don’t know of a Democrat – whether they’re a conservative, a centrist or a liberal Democrat – that doesn’t think that it’s important to have quality jobs that pay decent wages so that families can support themselves, so that they can have the dignity of being able to afford health care, put money aside for pension, buy a home.”

― Tom Vilsack

“I don’t know if there is a Democrat who necessarily doesn’t believe health care is a right instead of privilege. There is a significant between us and the Republican Party on that issue.”

― Tom Vilsack

“President Obama’s fight for rural America is personal. He was raised by a single mom and grandparents from Kansas. He hails from a farming state, Illinois.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Today, President Obama is making smart investments in clean energy – wind, solar, biofuels – as part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy that supports thousands of jobs, not in the Middle East, but in the Midwest.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Rural Americans want leaders who help middle-class communities to plan and prosper over the long-term – not opportunists who reap the rewards for themselves, leaving nothing for the people who do the sowing.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Sixteen percent of our population is rural, but 40 percent of our military is rural. I don’t believe that’s because of a lack of opportunity in rural America. I believe that’s because if you grow up in rural America, you know you can’t just keep taking from the land. You’ve got to give something back.”

― Tom Vilsack

“And sometimes people don’t realize that 90 percent of the persistent poverty counties are located in rural America.”

― Tom Vilsack

“But It doesn’t make sense for us to have a continued reliance on a supply of oil where whenever there is unrest in another part of the world, gasoline prices jump up. We need a renewable fuel industry that’s more than corn-based, of course, and there are a whole series of great opportunities here.”

― Tom Vilsack

“I grew up in a city. My parents would think there was something wrong with America if they knew I was secretary of agriculture.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Let us build a 21st-century rural economy of cutting-edge companies and technologies that lead us to energy and food security. Such an investment will revitalize rural America, re-establish our moral leadership on climate security and eliminate our addiction to foreign oil.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Food is a fairly significant aspect of my life. I have struggled mightily with food. With my weight. And I’m conscious of it. So I have a sensitivity to people who struggle with their weight.”

― Tom Vilsack

“There are ways we can go do a better job of educating young moms and dads about the vital role they have as the child’s first teacher. I think there are ways in which we can partner with local school districts and states to do a better job to provide nutrition options at school.”

― Tom Vilsack

“If you think of what food is, it’s the energy we use to do our daily work. I want people to know about the USDA. This is a very important department. It’s not fully appreciated as such.”

― Tom Vilsack

“Over the past two years, the Obama Administration and USDA have worked to build a foundation for sustainable economic growth in rural America. At the center of our vision is an effort to increase domestic production and use of renewable energy.”

― Tom Vilsack

“It is critical to develop a biofuel industry powered by feedstocks produced in every corner of the country, in addition to the Midwest. That is why USDA has established five regional research centers working on science necessary to ensure profitable biofuels can be produced from a diverse range of feedstocks.”

― Tom Vilsack

“This is an exciting time for farmers and ranchers of all types and sizes as agriculture is a bright spot in the American economy. In 2011, agricultural exports hit a record high and producers saw their best incomes in nearly 40 years.”

― Tom Vilsack

“To help producers serve larger institutional customers like schools and hospitals, USDA has helped fund new regional infrastructure like cold storage warehouses, commercial kitchens and local slaughter facilities.”

― Tom Vilsack

“USDA is committed to keeping pace with the needs and progress of American agriculture by supporting new markets and movements that will keep farmers profitable and help create middle class jobs across the country.”

― Tom Vilsack

“The food pyramid is very complicated. It doesn’t give you as much info in a quick glance as the plate does.”

― Tom Vilsack

“We know that there are significant health benefits from consuming more fruits and vegetables, and that’s an opportunity for us to sort of move away from some of the meals that we’ve been preparing in the past.”

― Tom Vilsack

“If we can get people to focus on fruits and vegetables and more healthy foods, we’ll be better in terms of our healthcare situation.”

― Tom Vilsack

“More than half of America’s rural counties are losing population and with it, political representation.”

― Tom Vilsack

“The Obama administration will continue to fight for a comprehensive immigration solution that includes AgJobs and a stable workforce for our farms.”

― Tom Vilsack
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