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Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture: What You Can Do

December 9, 2008

By David Thier

anti-iraq-war-protest-1For someone who uses the phrase “grassroots” as much as he does, president elect Barack Obama must understand how important agriculture is to the health of the country he’s about to be in charge of. The cabinet positions are starting to come in, and Secretary of Agriculture can’t be far away. These decisions are complicated, of course, but there has been a tremendous amount of grassroots action to try and influence the president elect’s decision. For those of us without fat cigars, tuxedos and a key to this smoke filled room that I’ve heard so much about, there are still ways to show Obama how important this decision is going to become in the next four years.

If there was ever a time to speak up on these issues, it’s now. Obama’s campaign was built on grassroots organizing, and the more that the people who are concerned about food and agriculture speak up, the harder we will be to ignore. After the jump, check out a few of the things you can do to be part of a voice that’s growing louder every day.There is an open letter to Barack Obama at Food Democracy encouraging him to make this decision with regards to the development of a sustainable American food system. The name’s that they’ve put forward are: Gus Chumacher, Chuck Hassebrook, Sarah Vogel, Fred Kirschenmann, Mark Ritchie and Neil Hamilton, and signing the petition is as easy as clicking a little button and putting your name in. 

Some of the orginal signers include Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle, our own Josh Viertel, Tom Philpott and Alice Waters. Unless you want to actively disagree with all these people, I’d recommend you sign.

Here’s the link again:

The other most important thing that the average computer user can do to make their voice heard is to leave comments using the “Your Seat at the Table” feature at In either a revolutionary move or a gesture at one, the Obama-Biden transition team is making PDF’s of materials concering the transition public, and encouraging users of the website to leave comments.

“The Green Group” would be a good place to start leaving comments regarding secretary of agriculture. Let’s shock the transition team with the number of comments they receive on secretary of agriculture.

If anyone else has ideas for how to contribute or make your own mark on this important decision, leave it below. Anything helps.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. marjorie Manglitz` permalink
    December 16, 2008 2:52 am

    You need to look carefully at Chuck Hassebrook of Nebraska for leader of the Rural people who raise food for a large part of the world. He also undestands the role of corporations and has a real understanding of the needs in the area of people engaged in agriculture. He as head of the Center of Rural Affairs has been very innovative in providing support and help for new products, new ways of farming methods and keeping local food being used in local school lunch programs and other sustainable methods which help farmers, communities and keep small towns alive. Chuck is a leader but inspires followers who are dedicated to new ideas.!


  1. Obama’s Next Secretary of Agriculture: The King of Corn « Yale Sustainable Food Project

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