In addition to getting a new president yesterday, we got a new Secretary of Agriculture as Tom Vilsack was officially confirmed by the Senate. But there are plenty of key positions yet to be filled at the USDA. And many policy insiders have opined that there's actually more opportunity to create change in these yet-to-be-filled positions than in heading the enormous Department of Agriculture.
Over at www.fooddemocracynow.com you still have a chance to become one of the more than 77,000 "Americans for a sustainable USDA." The petition, which started by advocating for a sustainable Secretary of Agriculture, now lists the "sustainable dozen:" 12 candidates for positions that range from Deputy Secretary of Agriculture to the under secretaries, deputy under secretaries, chiefs, directors and administrators who manage the individual programs within the USDA. These programs fall under the headings of Rural Development, Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Natural Resources and the Environment, Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, and Food Safety, and are instrumental in either advancing sustainable agriculture or hindering its progress. In other words, we've got to get good people in these positions to fulfill our mission of building a sustainable, family-farm system of agriculture that keeps our farmers on the land and delivers good, safe food.
It's incredible to think that the staffing of the USDA has sparked the interest and activism of nearly 80,000 people! The Good Food Movement continues to grow and grow more active by the day! Sign the petition for a sustainable USDA today and let's keep working for the change we want to see.