Vilsack to stay on as agriculture secretary

Obama asks Tom Vilsack to stay on as agriculture secretary

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will keep his job in President Obama's second term.

USDA communications director Matt Paul said Monday that Obama asked Vilsack to stay in his post and Vilsack accepted. Vilsack is the former Democratic governor of Iowa.

The farm economy has thrived under Vilsack's tenure, but his job hasn't been as easy in Washington. He is expected to spend the next several months lobbying Congress to pass a farm bill that would extend agriculture subsidies and domestic food aid. Farm-state lawmakers' efforts to pass that bill failed in the last Congress.

Vilsack spent much of his first term working to revitalize rural America. He said in a December speech that rural areas are becoming less relevant as the U.S. population shifts to cities.

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