President-elect Joe Biden will reportedly select Tom Vilsack as his agriculture secretary, reprising the role he held under former President Obama. The news drew immediate condemnation from progressives and environmental and labor activists over Vilsack’s track record of supporting corporate interests over farmers’, loosening regulations, and backing of genetically modified, herbicide-resistant crops. Vilsack also backed the megamerger between Bayer and Monsanto. He is currently the president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, which represents large corporate dairy interests. Many small family farms have been decimated in recent years due to agricultural monopolies and plunging dairy prices.
In other Cabinet news, Ohio Congressmember Marcia Fudge has been tapped to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. If confirmed, Fudge would be the first Black woman to lead HUD. Following the news, many progressives expressed hope former Ohio state senator and prominent Bernie Sanders surrogate Nina Turner would run for Fudge’s congressional seat.