Monday, December 08, 2008

"Sustainable Secretary of Agriculture"

Its all over the food and ag blogs today - as the New York Times Diners Blog reported in their post A Pitch to Obama on Food and Farming "nearly 90 notable figures in the world of sustainable agriculture and food sent a letter to the Obama transition team earlier this week offering their six top picks for what they called 'the sustainable choice for the next U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.'" Among the signators were Michael Pollan, author of the recent NY Times Sunday Magazine article titled, Farmer in Chief, What the Next President Can and Should Do to Remake the Way We Grow and Eat Our Food, Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, Alice Waters, Marion Nestle, Eric Schlosser, and Bill Niman.

Here is the widely reported list:
  1. Gus Schumacher, former Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services and former Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture.
  2. Chuck Hassebrook, executive director, Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons, Neb.
  3. Sarah Vogel, former Commissioner of Agriculture for North Dakota, lawyer, Bismarck, N.D.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Neil Hamilton, Dwight D. Opperman Chair of Law and director of the Agricultural Law Center, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.


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