Vilsack to head US agriculture department
Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack has been chosen for Agriculture Secretary by President elect Barack Obama.
"I am confident that we have the team we need to make the rural agenda America's agenda, to create millions of new green jobs, to free our nation from its dependence on oil and to help preserve this planet for our children.
"In the end, that is not only our responsibility as Americans, it is our obligation as stewards of God's Earth," Obama said.
Vilsack was a strong supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who lost the Iowa caucuses to Obama during the Democratic presidential nomination campaign. Vilsack, 58, is a strong backer of alternative energy including biofuels, an issue that benefits Iowa farmers.
The appointment came as the transition team rushed to complete the Cabinet selection before Obama heads to Hawaii for a Christmas vacation.
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